The Prep Season has concluded and the Championship Season is now in flight, with 14 scoring races remaining for Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 three-year-old Thoroughbreds and a points system determines eligibility. The complete schedule and explanation of scoring races, along with the updated standings of the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard, can be found here.
Last weekend featured three scoring events, with the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park and the Risen Star at Fair Grounds (both contested Feb. 21) offering points on a 50-20-10-5 basis to the top four respective finishers.
The Feb. 22 Southwest Stakes was held six days later than originally scheduled after freezing conditions wiped out the Presidents Day program at Oaklawn Park and the original point values (10-4-2-1) were carried forward.
International Star was already near the top of the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard before the Risen Star, earning 10 points for wins in the Jan. 17 Lecomte Stakes and last October’s Grey Stakes as well as a point for a fourth in the Nov. 29 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, and the Mike Maker-trained horse vaulted to the pole position with a one-length victory, increasing his total to 71 points.
Itsaknockout moved to second in the standings with the 50-point winner’s share from the Fountain of Youth, which marked the unbeaten colt’s stakes debut. One of four horses trained by Todd Pletcher currently in the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard top 20, Itsaknockout was second under the finish line but wound up being elevated to first by the stewards via the disqualification of Upstart.
After being placed second, Upstart now sits third on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with a total of 36 points. He also earned 10 points capturing the Jan. 24 Holy Bull Stakes and picked up an additional six points placing in a pair of stakes races last year.
Frammento recorded his first points (10) finishing third in the Fountain of Youth and fourth-placer Frosted upped his tally to 13.
War Story increased his total to 24 (fifth in the standings) finishing second in the Risen Star. Third-placer Keen Ice now owns a total 12 points and fourth-placer St. Joe Bay expanded his ledger to six.
In the Southwest, Far Right pick up the 10-point winner’s share after rallying boldly over the wet track, recording his second straight stakes win at Oaklawn Park and moving to sixth on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with a total of 22 points.
Following Far Right under the Southwest finish line were The Truth or Else (six points total), Mr. Z (14) and Bayerd (four).
Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered this weekend (Friday-Sunday) as the Road to the Kentucky Derby series takes a one-week hiatus. We’ll update the standings in two weeks after three scoring races – the Gotham, San Felipe and Tampa Bay Derby – are offered on March 7.
For more details on last weekend’s races, please check out my Kentucky Derby Report at brisnet.com.