Kentucky Derby 2013: The Road to Louisville

Still waiting on a Triple Crown winner. - Jamie Squire

A look at the scheduled prep races on the road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

We are a little under six months away from the 2013 Kentucky Derby and only a couple of months away from the beginning of the stakes calendar for three-year-old colts at various tracks around the country. Yes, Kentucky Derby time is slowly creeping onto the horizon.

This year's road to the Derby is significantly different from previous years following the changes introduced by Churchill Downs to the qualifying process. Gone are the days of graded stakes earnings and horses automatically earning a spot in the starting gate through a victory in a single $1 million race. Now horses will earn points on specific races and the points will change depending on how close or how far away the race is from the Derby itself. The $1 million Delta Jackpot, and the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile, once races that guaranteed enough money to make the Derby field, are now merely early steps in that direction.

[We had a post discussing the pros and cons of the new system following it's release earlier this year.]

Below is a summary of the new road to the Derby schedule, along with the points allocated to each race along the way.

Segment Date Race Dist Surf Track Location 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Prep 9/29/2012 Royal Lodge 8.0 Turf NEW England 10 4 2 1
Prep 9/29/2012 FrontRunner 8.5 Dirt SA California 10 4 2 1
Prep 10/6/2012 Breeders' Futurity 8.5 Synth. KEE Kentucky 10 4 2 1
Prep 10/6/2012 Champagne 8.0 Dirt BEL New York 10 4 2 1
Prep 10/7/2012 Grey 8.5 Synth. WO Ontario 10 4 2 1
Prep 11/3/2012 BC Juvenile 8.5 Dirt SA California 10 4 2 1
Prep 11/17/2012 Delta Jackpot 8.5 Dirt DED Louisiana 10 4 2 1
Prep 11/24/2012 Remsen 9.0 Dirt AQU New York 10 4 2 1
Prep 11/24/2012 Ky. Jockey Club 8.5 Dirt CD Kentucky 10 4 2 1
Prep 12/15/2012 CashCall Futurity 8.5 Synth. HOL California 10 4 2 1
Prep 1/5/2013 Sham 8.0 Dirt SA California 10 4 2 1
Prep 1/19/2013 Lecomte 8.0+70 Dirt FG Louisiana 10 4 2 1
Prep 1/21/2013 Smarty Jones 8.0 Dirt OP Arkansas 10 4 2 1
Prep 1/26/2013 Holy Bull 8.0 Dirt GP Florida 10 4 2 1
Prep 2/2/2013 Robert B. Lewis 8.5 Dirt SA California 10 4 2 1
Prep 2/2/2013 Sam F. Davis 8.5 Dirt TAM Florida 10 4 2 1
Prep 2/2/2013 Withers 8.5 Dirt AQU New York 10 4 2 1
Prep 2/7/2013 El Camino Real 9.0 Synth. GG California 10 4 2 1
Prep 2/18/2013 Southwest 8.0 Dirt OP Arkansas 10 4 2 1
1stChamp 2/23/2013 Risen Star 8.5 Dirt FG Louisiana 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 2/23/2013 Fountain of Youth 8.5 Dirt GP Florida 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 3/2/2013 Gotham 8.5 Dirt AQU New York 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 3/9/2013 Tampa Bay Derby 8.5 Dirt TAM Florida 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 3/9/2013 San Felipe 8.5 Dirt SA California 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 3/16/2013 Rebel 8.5 Dirt OP Arkansas 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 3/23/2013 Spiral 9.0 Synth. TP Kentucky 50 20 10 5
1stChamp 3/24/2013 Sunland Derby 9.0 Dirt SUN New Mexico 50 20 10 5
2ndChamp 3/30/2013 Florida Derby 9.0 Dirt GP Florida 100 40 20 10
2ndChamp 3/30/2013 UAE Derby 9.5 Synth. MEY UAE 100 40 20 10
2ndChamp 3/30/2013 Louisiana Derby 9.0 Dirt FG Louisiana 100 40 20 10
2ndChamp 4/6/2013 Wood Memorial 9.0 Dirt AQU New York 100 40 20 10
2ndChamp 4/6/2013 Santa Anita Derby 9.0 Dirt SA California 100 40 20 10
2ndChamp 4/13/2013 Arkansas Derby 9.0 Dirt OP Arkansas 100 40 20 10
2ndChamp 4/13/2013 Blue Grass 9.0 Dirt KEE Kentucky 100 40 20 10
Wild Card 4/20/2013 Lexington 8.5 Dirt KEE Kentucky 20 8 4 2
Wild Card 4/27/2013 Derby Trial 8.0 Dirt CD Kentucky 20 8 4 2

Any dates in the table with a "?" next to them means I'm guessing at the day based on the 2012 scheduling; some tracks (like Aqueduct and Keeneland) have yet to release their 2013 stakes calendar.

You might remember that a couple of years ago I put together a spreadsheet tracking the all of the 3yo stakes races at a mile or greater in the month leading up to the Derby. I wasn't able to do that last year due to other distraction, but I'm happy to bring back that spreadsheet for 2013. Below is the link to the spreadsheet via Google Drive:

2013 Road to the Kentucky Derby Tracker (Google Drive)

UPDATE: Okay, so there is a problem with the splits on the Google Drive doc; essentially, Google spreadsheets don't allow you to display numbers in a customized Excel format (which is what I did on the original file). So, until I hard key those to look better it will look ugly.

For a better view of the splits, I uploaded the spreadsheet as an SB Nation asset. You can view it through the link below.

2013 Road to the Derby Tracker (SB Nation Asset)

A couple of things with the Derby Tracker:

  • As you can see, there is some data I'm still in the process of filling in; Christmas will be a good time to get all this caught up.
  • I am including some races that aren't part of the official Churchill Downs Derby prep standings. Essentially, I am including any graded or ungraded stakes race at a mile or greater on the main track at a major race meeting (or a race at a smaller track that produces a very big performance).
  • Under the "Points" column, any race not part of the Churchill Downs official road to the Derby series is marked as "n/a".
  • The tracker includes the top four finishers in each race, along with their Beyer, Bris and Equibase figures, and the performance figures from Chef de Race, when available. (I've haven't added in the PFs as of yet, but should have them all updated in the next week or so.)
  • I've included the fractions and internal splits for each of the top four horses and noted where those numbers are taken from. Most of the time the data is from either Trakus or the DRF Formulator Interactive Charts. I attempt to use Trakus data if it's available.

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