BC Juvenile Points Doubled on Road to Derby
Points for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) have been doubled for the 2015-2016 "Road to the Kentucky Derby," the series of 35 select races that determine which horses will qualify to the 142nd running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Points awarded to this year's top four finishers in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile will be 20-8-4-2, which is valued twice as much as its previous three runnings in the series. The race also is worth twice as much as the other 18 "prep season" races, "which are considered by track officials to be foundation-building races over a minimum of one mile between September and late-February," a Churchill Downs release said.
"The point system has been a resounding success since its inception for the 2013 Kentucky Derby," said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs"Our committee has annually reviewed past results and discussed input from stakeholders. We believe this new valuation of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is warranted."
Annually staged six months in advance of the Kentucky Derby, this year's 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile will be run Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
"We truly appreciate Churchill Downs' responsiveness in recognizing the high quality of excellence that the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile annually attracts," Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup president and CEO, said in the release. "The Breeders' Cup Juvenile often delivers memorable championship-crowning performances, and our winner is frequently the winter-time poster boy for the upcoming Kentucky Derby. Our team is thrilled to have an expanded role in this popular series, and it's a testament to the exceptional horses that our global event attracts."
Churchill said the increase in points to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is the only change from last year's series of races. There was a modification to the tiebreaker rule for two or more horses with the same number of points.
The first tiebreaker remains earnings in non-restricted stakes races, but a secondary tiebreaker of lifetime earnings has been added in the case of remaining ties. If additional starters and/or also-eligible horses remain, they'll be determined by lot (commonly called a "shake").
The Road to the Kentucky Derby "prep season" will begin Sept. 12, with Churchill's $150,000 Iroquois Stakes Presented by U.S. Bank (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.
The 16 events that comprise the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series" during the 10-week run-up to the Derby remain unchanged from a year ago.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby, now in its fourth year, consists of a sliding scale of points awarded to the top four finishers in selected races to determine preference for its 20-horse Derby field. At least 20 horses have entered the 1 1/4-mile classic for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds every year since 2004, and 15 of the last 17 years.
A similar series remains in place to qualify for the Derby's sister race, the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies.
The lone change to the 31-race Road to the Kentucky Oaks series is the doubling of points to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
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