Tom Chuckas, the president of the Maryland
The path to the
Since 1986, graded stakes earnings have been the key to any horse hoping to qualify for the field of 20 in Kentucky. But
Jennie Rees, one of the very best turf writers in the country, had the scoop. She explains it better than I can because, frankly, I haven't had time to figure out exactly what it means.
Here's how the official press release explains the new system (emphasis is theirs):
"The new point system – officially branded as the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" – will feature 36 stakes races overall and include 17 marquee events for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that comprise a compact, 10-week run up to the first Saturday in May to be known as the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series."
Obviously the staffers at Churchill who devised the system gave weight to the races that have mattered most in recent years. But there were some left out: the Illinois Derby, which launched Maryland-owned, based and trained colt
What this means for the Preakness is not yet clear. Maryland