The hype is on for the 145th Kentucky Derby this coming May 5th at the grounds of Churchill Downs, Louisville.
Kentucky Derby is the famous one and a quarter mile run for Grade I stakes three-year-old horses which have been now open to not more than 20 qualifying horses. It’s now known to be the biggest race of all time with a whopping prize of $3 million at stake for the winning horse.
The big question now is, how do these aspiring three-year-old qualify for the Derby?
The Road to the Kentucky Derby is a series of designated races around the United States where points are attached to the first four finishers of each race. To keep that simple, the 20 horses with the most number of points get their spot for the Derby in May.
Last year, the points offered to the contenders are similar (10-4-2-1) for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. However, some of the races put up some more challenge to it. Nearer race time such as the Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby, UAE Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, to name a few are all offering a 100-40-20-10 point system to the top 4.
Contenders all the way from Europe are being offered 20-8-4-2 and at Newcastle in March 30-12-6-3 which is quite a low offer for the aspiring European racers.
That is how tough the road to Kentucky Derby can be tricky to all horses.
Kentucky Derby has become a traditional celebration instead of an intriguing racing event in America. The reason why all these trials are laid down to the competing horses is because it is the first of a three-part championship series–Triple Crown, but to Kentucky locals and gamblers it is a celebration.
Rather than just a serious horse race, it is a celebration where people wear the craziest hats they can ever wear to match their subtle dress and suit, a time for them to cling their beer bottles and glasses of mint julep and a winning streak for the jockey to earn millions. As for the horses, they get flowers.
As soon as the race is over, it has been a tradition where a spread of red roses is hung over the winning colt’s neck. This started in 1896 and later on became an official Derby flower in 1904. About 20 years after that, Kentucky has been known as the Run for the Roses.
Onwards to the second leg, where winners from the Kentucky Derby keep up their lead on Preakness Stakes or so they called The race of black-eyed Susans. Although this is not the race where everyone is up in their feet unlike in the mile-and-a-half mile run at Belmont, what caught up the chase in Maryland is the duction of race length condition to 9 and a half furlongs. This is one of a hell stamina test that can finally clear out on the odds on to who runs the fastest in shorter tracks from the youngsters.
The make it or break it and final stage for the crown at Belmont will be the real witness of who has got the speed in the field of horse racing. This is where the odds got clearer and where everyone would wish they have placed their bet to the right horse on the line.
Now let us take a look on who are the Top 5 of the current standings as qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby.
Good Magic (24pts)
This chestnut colt trained by Chad Brown, ran for its first Kentucky Derby surprisingly finishing second after the crowd favorite Justify with two-and-a-half lengths behind. He again challenged him at the 2018 Preakness Stakes over a sloppy track. Ortiz, his jockey, decided to press the pace running side by side with him but failed to catch up and was left one length behind.
Bolt D’Oro (14pts)
Bolt is one of the favorites of last year’s Kentucky. This incredible horse can dance as what Ruis portrayed as he race against older horses. He is an interesting horse that can surprise everyone.
Solomini is Bolt D’oro’s contender at the 2017 FrontRunner Stakes where he finished second with a highly acclaimed 3/1. He is also raced against Good Magic at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile where he finished second place. Could this be a more intense Derby race then?
Enticed (12 pts)
Enticed had a rough journey trying to fight against the best horses on last year’s Kentucky which he only finished at 14th place. However, he showed great results in the GII Wood Memorial Stakes, GII Gotham Stakes, GII Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes winning first place and even in his Maiden race.
Firenze Fire (10pts)
This rockstar finished fourth at the Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile where City of Light painted the town red chased after by Seeking the Soul and Bravazo.
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