Countdown to the
147th Kentucky Derby

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2020-21 Road to the Kentucky Derby

mediaFor  the ninth 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 20-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 147th 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.
 

2020-21 Kentucky Derby Prep Season - 20 Races

On September 5th, 2020 at the Grade III Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, the long Road to the Kentucky Derby began. Over the course of 20 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.
DATE
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RACE
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TRACK
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DISTANCE
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POINTS (1st-4th)
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WINNER
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Sept. 5
Churchill Downs
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
Sittin On Go
Sept. 26
Santa Anita
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
Get Her Number
Oct. 3
Keeneland
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
Essential Quality
Oct. 10
Belmont Park
1 Mile
10-4-2-1
Jackie's Warrior
Nov. 6
Del Mar
1 1/16 Miles
20-8-4-2
TBD
Nov. 28
Churchill Downs
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Dec. 5
Aqueduct
1 1/8 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Dec. 19
Los Alamitos
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Dec. 20
Remington Park
1 Mile
10-4-2-1
TBD
Jan. 1
Aqueduct
1 Mile 70 Yards
10-4-2-1
TBD
Jan. 2
Santa Anita
1 Mile
10-4-2-1
TBD
Jan. 16
Fair Grounds
1 Mile 70 Yards
10-4-2-1
TBD
Jan. 22
Oaklawn Park
1 Mile
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 1
Gulfstream Park
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 6
Santa Anita
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 6
Aqueduct
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 6
Tampa Bay Downs
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 6
John Battaglia Memorial
Turfway Park
1 1/16 miles
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 13
Golden Gate
1 1/8 Miles (S)
10-4-2-1
TBD
Feb. 15
Oaklawn Park
1 1/16 Miles
10-4-2-1
TBD

2020-21 Kentucky Derby Championship Series - 16 Races

Recent form is rewarded more generously as the Kentucky Derby Championship Series runs from mid-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."

DATE
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RACE
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TRACK
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DISTANCE
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POINTS (1st to 4th)
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WINNER
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Feb. 13
Fair Grounds
1 1/8 Miles
50-20-10-5
TBD
Feb. 27
Gulfstream Park
1 1/16 Miles
50-20-10-5
TBD
March 6
Aqueduct
1 1/16 Miles
50-20-10-5
TBD
March 6
Santa Anita
1 1/16 Miles
50-20-10-5
TBD
March 6
Tampa Bay Downs
1 1/16 Miles
50-20-10-5
TBD
March 13
Oaklawn Park
1 1/16 Miles
50–20–10–5
TBD
March 20
Turfway Park
1 1/8 Miles (S)
20-8-4-2
TBD
March 20
Fair Grounds
1 1/8 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
March 27
Gulfstream Park
1 1/8 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
March 27
Meydan Racecourse
1 3/16 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
March 30
Sunland Park
1 1/8 Miles
50-20-10-5
TBD
April 1
Keeneland
1 1/8 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
April 1
Santa Anita
1 1/8 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
April 3
Aqueduct
1 1/8 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
April 10
Oaklawn Park
1 1/8 Miles
100-40-20-10
TBD
April 10
Keeneland
1 1/16 Miles
20-8-4-2
TBD

2020-21 Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

One position at the starting gate of the 147th 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 March 28th 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. 

DATE
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RACE
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TRACK
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DISTANCE
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POINTS (1st-4th)
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WINNER
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Nov. 28
Tokyo Racecourse
1 Mile
10-4-2-1
TBD
Dec. 16
Kawasaki Racecourse
1 Mile
20-8-4-2
TBD
Feb. 1
Tokyo Racecourse
1 Mile
30-12-6-3
TBD
Mar. 28
Nakayama Racecourse
1 1/8 Miles
40-16-8-4
TBD

2020-21 European Road to the Kentucky Derby

The "European Road to the Kentucky Derby", now in its fourth year, is a seven race, stand-alone series. The race will follow the same structure as last year, concluding in April of 2021 with the Cardinal Condition Stakes at the Chelmsford City racetrack. 

DATE
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RACE
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TRACK
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DISTANCE
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POINTS (1st-4th)
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WINNER
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Sept. 26
Newmarket (GB)
1 Mile (T)
10-4-2-1
New Mandate
Sept. 26
Curragh (Ire)
1 Mile (T)
10-4-2-1
High Definition
Oct. 4
Longchamp (Fr)
1 Mile (T)
10-4-2-1
Sealiway
Oct. 24
Doncaster (GB)
1 Mile (T)
10-4-2-1
Mac Swiney
Mar. 1
Dundalk (Ire)
1 Mile (S)
20-8-4-2
TBD
Mar. 4
Kempton Park (GB)
1 Mile (S)
20-8-4-2
TBD
Apr. 1
Chelmsford City (GB)
1 Mile (Polytrack)
30-12-6-3
TBD