The Road to the 2015 Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks
It's that time of year again! Race horses will turn three years old come the New Year and the Road to the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks has begun! Like the two years prior, Churchill Downs is following its tiered points system rather than a graded stakes system, so the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks qualifiers will be based directly on the points they earn.
Take a look at how the points system functions, see the schedule for the Road to the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, and keep up with the winners of each race. Be sure to follow along because once the New Year hits, we'll be breaking down the top contenders for both the Oaks and the Derby weekly!
Breaking Down the Road to the Derby
A total of 35 races are included in the Road to the Derby, broken into two different sets: the Prep Season and the Championship Series.
The Prep Season is comprised of 19 races that are at least a mile in length, and they are ran on either dirt or synthetic surfaces. The Prep Season kicked-off this year with the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs on Sept. 6, and will continue through mid-Feb.
The Championship Series holds 16 different races which take place over the 10 weeks that precede the Kentucky Derby in May.
Points in both the Prep Season and the Championship Series are awarded to the top four finishers in each race and are cast along a sliding scale. The Championship Series races award a significantly higher number of points for the top four finishers than the Prep Season, making these races much more valuable as contenders are racing to qualify.
The are 20 spots in the field for the Kentucky Derby and if one of the top 20 qualifiers has to scratch, the next four horses in the standings are considered eligible to race. The final race on the schedule, the Lexington Stakes, is a wild card race allowing potential contenders to grab a few final points before the field is decided.
Then, should there be a tie in points, the tie-breaker will be the earnings in non-restricted stakes races.
The Road to the Kentucky Oaks shares the same format.
View our racing expert Loren Hebel-Obsorne's top 10 picks for the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks»
The Road to the Derby Schedule & Winners
Road to the Derby Points Standings
**Click standings to enlarge
The Road to the Oaks Schedule & Winners
Road to the Oaks Points Standings
**Click standings to enlarge
What do you think about the system in place for thoroughbreds to qualify to race in the "Run for the Roses?" Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Be there LIVE for the 141st Kentucky Oaks & Kentucky Derby!
Time is flying and before you know it, the Road to the Derby and Oaks will be over and the first leg of the Triple Crown Series will be knocking on your doorstep! Don't miss your chance to watch the top three-year-olds run LIVE!
With Derby Experiences' Official Ticket Packages direct from Churchill Downs, you can have unparalleled access at the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks!
Your Official Ticket Package will come with tickets to both days of racing and two days access to an exclusive in-track hospitality area. Here, you'll find complimentary food buffets, open beer, wine and soft drink selections, a cash bar for premium beverages, celebrity jockey meet-and-greets, live entertainment, and much more.
Derby Experiences can even get you invites to some of the most highly anticipated official Kentucky Derby parties, such as the Fillies & Lilies Party, the Taste of Derby and the Winner's Party!
It's time for you to experience the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks the way it was meant to be experienced - as a VIP! Get more information on Official Ticket Packages by calling 1-888-384-7088 to speak to a representative or visit Derby Experiences website for more information.
Make your Derby dreams come true today!
Join the conversation on social media using the hastags #DerbyVIP and #KyDerby!
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