The Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Update - February 26
Las Vegas, NV - With the last two Kentucky Derby Prep Races a distant memory, this past weekend saw the action ramp up. The points values jumped from 10-4-2-1 for first to fourth all the way up to 50-20-10-5 as the qualification process moved from "Prep Races" to those in the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series". The Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream each handed out 50 points for their winners, 20 points for their runner-ups, 10 points for the third place and 5 points for their fourth place finishers this past weekend.
The next Championship Series races come our way this upcoming weekend - the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes will be run at Aqueduct March 2 and the following weekend will have the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita to further muddy the points standings. Let's take a look at how last weekend's results affected the ever-changing points race for the Run for the Roses in May.
Keith Desormeaux's I've Struck a Nerve is the new leader on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" after a win in the Risen Star Stakes at Fairgrounds Saturday. He now has 51 points after gaining just a single point during the Prep Series. Shug McGaughey's Orb made his first points on the Road haul a big one when he gained the maximum 50 with his win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday. He is alone in second place. In third is Todd Pletcher's Violence with 30 points - he was the overwhelming favorite in Saturday's Fountain of Youth but settled for second place and the 20 points that came with it. Unfortunately, Violence looks to have recorded his last points as he's been retired from racing after sustaining a fracture to his right front medial sesamoid in the Fountain of Youth.
Todd Pletcher's Shanghai Bobby and Doug O'Neill's Goldencents are next with 24 points apiece - they have yet to take part in a Championship Series race yet - their points came during the Prep Series when the points were of a diminished value. Bob Baffert's Code West benefitted from a second place finish in the Risen Star this past weekend and is now alone in sixth place with 20 points while D. Wayne Lukas's Oxbow sits in seventh place with 16 points. Eddie Plesa Jr. pupils are next in the standings - Speak Logistics who ran third in the Fountain of Youth has 11 points and Itsmyluckyday has 10.
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A group of 10 other colts sit tied with Itsmyluckyday with 10 points each. They include newcomers and third place finishers from this past weekend - Bob Baffert's Super Ninety Nine and D. Wayne Lukas's Will Take Charge. Revolutionary, Falling Sky and Flashback, Power Broker, Den's Legacy, Todd Pletcher's Overanalyze, Mark Casse's Uncaptured and Todd Pletcher's Palace Malice also sit in this cluster of colts with 10 points.
Mark Casse's Dynamic Sky by virtue of his second place finish in the Sam F. Davis is now alone in twentieth place with eight points. Paul O'Neill's He's Had Enough registered a third place finish in the Robert Lewis and gained two points to sit twenty-first with six points, tied with Mike Maker's Fear the Kitten. Majestic Hussar based on his fourth place finish in the Fountain of Youth and Josie Carroll's Terreron are next with five points - in twenty-third and twenty-fourth respectively sitting on the outside looking in along the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" .
There are 11 other colts that have gained at least a point so far in the qualification process that have yet to enter a race with a 50-20-10-5 point breakdown. The standings will change in the coming weeks - guaranteed. Stay tuned to OffTrackBetting.com for frequent updates during the fluid qualification process.