Kentucky Derby Points Update Dec 18, 2012

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: December 18, 2012 -- 2:40 PM ET

The Road to the Kentucky Derby - Points Update

Las Vegas, NV - The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes the rest of 2012 off - the CashCall Futurity this past weekend marked the last race in which horses could gain points toward qualification this year. Todd Pletcher colt Violence became the latest to join the top of the standings with a victory in that race with Fury Kapcori, Den's Legacy and Oxbow also picking up valuable points. Keep in mind the top 20 points earners ahead of the Kentucky Derby will gain automatic berth into the Spring Classic.

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There have now been five qualifying stakes in the 14-race "Kentucky Derby Prep Season" portion of the Derby Trail for which points are awarded on a 10-4-2-1 basis for the first- through fourth-place finishers, respectively. The Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds, the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park and the Holy Bull at Gulfstream will all be contested in January on the way to the Run for the Roses in May. The final race in the prep season will be the Feb. 18 Southwest Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.

The first leg in the three-series "Kentucky Derby Championship Series," in which the points increase to 50-20-10-5, begins Feb. 23 with the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.

Let's take a look at the present Standings and the early names to watch on the way to May 4, 2013.

Todd Pletcher's Shanghai Bobby continues to lead the way with 20 points based on his wins earlier this year in the Champagne Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile while Goldencents, trained by Doug O'Neill is second with 14 points thanks to a win in the Delta Downs Jackpot and a second in the Champagne. These two lead the way early in the prep season.

There is a log jam of horses at 10 points and with new entry Violence leading the way as one of Todd Pletcher's colts with a win in the prep season, the other being Overanalyze. Mike Maker's Joha, Mark Casse's Uncaptured, Bob Baffert's Power Broker, Steeler and River Seven complete the seven-horse tie at ten points.

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Josie Carroll's Tesseron rounds out the top 10 with five points ahead of another huge log jam at four points. Doug O'Neill has two horses in this group of nine - He's Had Enough and Know More. Kelly Breen's Bern Identity, John Sadler's Cap Bastone, Jerry Hollendorfer's Fury Kapcori who finished second in last week's CashCall, Mark Casse's Dynamic Sky, Chad Brown's Normandy Invasion, Ken McPeek's Frac Daddy and Artigiano round out the nine at four points.

Further down is Bob Baffert's Den's Legacy who finished third last weekend and Kiaran McLaughlin with three points and a host of colts at two points - currently outside the top 20 but still in the conversation. They include Mylute, Java's War, Indiano Jones, Al Waab, Todd Pletcher's Delhomme and Dewey Square, trained by Dale Romans.

Names like Hightale, Carving, Pataky Kid, Oxbow, Five Iron, Birdman, Archwarrior and Quinzieme Monarque all sit at one point.

The standings will certainly be fluid with four prep races slated for January and a host of others scheduled almost every week between now and May 4. Be sure to stay tuned to OffTrackBetting.com for coverage of all prep races and updated standings for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

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