2019-20 Road to the Kentucky Derby

2020 kentucky derby logoFor  the eighth consecutive year, Churchill Downs is using a points-based series of qualifying races to determine invitations to the Kentucky Derby. Over the course of a 19-race Prep Season and a 16-race Championship Series, top jockeys, trainers, and thoroughbreds compete to enter America’s most famous horse race.

Last year’s format will also again apply to the independent racing series in Japan and Europe to qualify for the Derby. The points leaders from both the 4-race “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby,” and the 7-race “European Road to the Kentucky Derby” will earn invitations to the 146th Run for the Roses.

Find the full schedule and links to race pages for the Kentucky Derby Prep Season, the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, and the European Road to the Kentucky Derby below.


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2019-20 Kentucky Derby Prep Season – 19 Races

On September 14th, 2019 at the Grade III Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, the long Road to the Kentucky Derby began. Over the course of 19 races running through mid-February, the greatest thoroughbreds from the U.S. and around the globe competed in a points-based system to qualify for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. With the exception of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (20-8-4-2), all races awarded the 1st through 4th place finishers 10, 4, 2, and 1 point(s) respectively.

DATERACETRACKDISTANCEPOINTS (1st-4th)WINNER
Sept. 14Iroquois StakesChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Dennis' Moment
Sept. 27American Pharoah StakesSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Eight Rings
Oct. 5ChampagneBelmont Park1 Mile10-4-2-1Tiz the Law
Oct. 5Breeders’ FuturityKeeneland1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Maxfield
Nov. 1Breeders’ Cup JuvenileDel Mar1 1/16 Miles20-8-4-2Storm The Court
Nov. 30Kentucky Jockey ClubChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Silver Prospector
Dec. 7Remsen StakesAqueduct1 1/8 Miles10-4-2-1Shotski
Dec. 7Los Alamitos FuturityLos Alamitos1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Thousand Words
Dec. 15Springboard MileRemington Park1 Mile10-4-2-1TBD
Jan. 1JeromeAqueduct1 Mile 70 Yards10-4-2-1TBD
Jan. 4Sham StakesSanta Anita1 Mile10-4-2-1TBD
Jan. 18LecomteFair Grounds1 Mile 70 Yards10-4-2-1TBD
Jan. 24Smarty JonesOaklawn Park1 Mile10-4-2-1TBD
Feb. 1Robert B. LewisSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1TBD
Feb. 1WithersAqueduct1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1TBD
Feb. 1Holy BullGulfstream Park1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1TBD
Feb. 9Sam F. DavisTampa Bay Downs1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1TBD
Feb. 15El Camino Real DerbyGolden Gate1 1/8 Miles (S)10-4-2-1TBD
Feb. 17SouthwestOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1TBD

2020 Kentucky Derby Championship Series – 16 Races

Recent form is rewarded more generously as the Kentucky Derby Championship Series runs from late February to Mid-April. Most of these qualifying events award points at a 50-20-10-5 or 100-40-20-10 point breakdown to the 1st through 4th place finishers. These 16 races define the bulk of the 2020 Kentucky Derby field, as the weeks countdown to the “Fastest 2 minutes in sports.”

DATERACETRACKDISTANCEPOINTS (1st to 4th)WINNER
Feb. 15Risen StarFair Grounds1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5TBD
Feb. 29Fountain of YouthGulfstream Park1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5TBD
March 7Gotham StakesAqueduct1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5TBD
March 7San FelipeSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5TBD
March 7Tampa Bay DerbyTampa Bay Downs1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5TBD
March 7Jeff Ruby SteaksTurfway Park1 1/8 Miles (S)20-8-4-2TBD
March 14Rebel StakesOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles37.5-15-7.5-3.75TBD
March 15Sunland DerbySunland Park1 1/8 Miles50-20-10-5TBD
March 21Louisiana DerbyFair Grounds1 1/8 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
March 28UAE DerbyMeydan Racecourse1 3/16 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
March 28Florida DerbyGulfstream Park1 1/8 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
April 4Wood MemorialAqueduct1 1/8 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
April 4Blue GrassKeeneland1 1/8 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
April 4Santa Anita DerbySanta Anita1 1/8 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
April 11Arkansas DerbyOaklawn Park1 1/8 Miles100-40-20-10TBD
April 11Lexington StakesKeeneland1 1/16 Miles20-8-4-2TBD


2019-20 Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

One position at the starting gate of the 146th Kentucky Derby will be granted to the winner of this year’s “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.” This 4-race series is a separate sequence of races, independent from America’s 35-race “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series. The series concludes with the 1 1/8-mile Fukuyru on a date to be determined in 2020 at Nakayama Racecourse. That final race awards 40-16-8-4 points to the top four placings, and is likely to be a major factor in determining the winning horse for the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.

DATERACETRACKDISTANCEPOINTS (1st-4th)WINNER
Nov. 23Cattleya ShoTokyo Racecourse1 Mile10-4-2-1Dieu du Vin (JPN)
Dec. 18Zen-Nippon Nisai YushunKawasaki Racecourse1 Mile20-8-4-2TBD
Feb. 16HyacinthTokyo Racecourse1 Mile30-12-6-3TBD
Mar. 29FukuyruNakayama
Racecourse
1 1/8 Miles40-16-8-4TBD

2019-20 European Road to the Kentucky Derby

The “European Road to the Kentucky Derby”, now in its third year, is a seven race, stand-alone series. The race will follow the same structure as last year, concluding in April of 2020 with the Cardinal Condition Stakes at the Chelmsford City racetrack.

DATERACETRACKDISTANCEPOINTS (1st-4th)WINNER
Sept. 28Royal Lodge StakesNewmarket (GB)1 Mile (T)10-4-2-1Royal Dornoch (IRE)
Sept. 29Beresford StakesNaas (Ire)1 Mile (T)10-4-2-1Innisfree (IRE)
Oct. 6Prix Jean-Luc LagardèreChantilly (Fr)1 Mile (T)10-4-2-1Victor Ludorum (GB)
Nov. 1Vertem Futurity TrophyDoncaster (GB)1 Mile (T)10-4-2-1Kameko
March 4Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition StakesKempton Park (GB)1 Mile (S)20-8-4-2TBD
March 4Patton StakesDundalk (Ire)1 Mile (S)20-8-4-2TBD
April 9Cardinal Condition StakesChelmsford City (GB)1 Mile (S)30-12-6-3TBD

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