About the Road to the Kentucky Derby
The 144th running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) will be run Saturday, May 5, 2018 and for the sixth consecutive year, a tiered point system in select races will determine who qualifies to America’s greatest race. Each year 20 horses have the once in a lifetime chance to run in the Kentucky Derby. To earn a spot in the starting gate, they must travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of designated races at tracks across the country and around the world. Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race. The 20 horses with the most points will earn a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
A year ago, Churchill Downs introduced the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” to provide a potential entry in the Kentucky Derby for a horse based in Japan. This year, a path is being extended to European horsemen as well.