LOUISVILLE, KY – The official “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” will begin Saturday, Sept. 14 at the home of America’s greatest race as Churchill Downs stages the $200,000 Iroquois (G3) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on opening weekend of its 11-day September Meet.

The “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” a series of select races that award a sliding scale of points to the Top 4 finishers, has determined preference for its 20-horse Kentucky Derby (G1) field since 2013. The 1 ¼-mile classic for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds –which featured a $3 million purse in 2019 – will be run at the historic Louisville, Ky. racetrack for the 146th consecutive year on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

The total number of races in the primary “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series is unchanged from last year’s lineup with 35 marquee races scheduled. The Iroquois will again kick off the 19-race “Prep Season,” which features foundation-building races over a minimum of one mile between mid-September and mid-February. Points awarded during the “Prep Season” are worth 10-4-2-1 to the top four placings, respectively, except for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), which is worth twice as much (20-8-4-2).

In addition to the Iroquois and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, “Prep Season” races include the American Pharoah, Breeders’ Futurity, Champagne, Kentucky Jockey Club, Remsen, Los Alamitos Futurity, Springboard Mile, Jerome, Sham, Lecomte, Smarty Jones, Withers, Holy Bull, Robert B. Lewis, Sam F. Davis, El Camino Real Derby and Southwest.

The 16-race “Championship Series” comprise springboard events that often bring the 3-year-old picture into sharper focus. Most first leg races offer 50-20-10-5 points to the Top 4 finishers: the Risen Star, Fountain of Youth, Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby, San Felipe, Rebel and Sunland Derby. The most meaningful races are worth 100-40-20-10: the Louisiana Derby, UAE Derby, Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, Santa Anita Derby and Arkansas Derby. Additionally, the Jeff Ruby Steaks and Lexington offer points on a scale of 20-8-4-2 to the first four placings.  

In addition to the primary “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, there are two separate series that each carve out one spot for a potential horse from Europe and Japan.

The fourth year Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby series again features four races: the Cattleya Sho (10-4-2-1), Zen-Nippon NisaiYushun (20-8-4-2), Hyacinth (30-12-6-3) and Fukuryu (40-16-8-4).

The third-year European Road to the Kentucky Derby again showcases seven races: the Juddmonte Royal Lodge (10-4-2-1), Beresford (10-4-2-1), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (10-4-2-1), Vertem Futurity Trophy (10-4-2-1), Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (20-8-4-2), Patton Stakes (20-8-4-2) and Cardinal Condition Stakes (30-12-6-3).

This is the eighth consecutive year that Churchill Downs has used a point system to determine entrants for its famed Kentucky Derby. At least 20 horses have entered the “Run for the Roses” every year since 2014, and 19 of the last 21 years.

A similar series remains in place to qualify for the Kentucky Derby’s sister race, the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 1, 2020. As was the case last year, there will be 30 races for the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series – 15 “Prep Season” races, which starts with the $200,000 Pocahontas (G2) on Sept. 14 at Churchill Downs, and 15 “Championship Series” races.

2019-20 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

35 Races

Kentucky Derby Prep Season (19 races)

Date

Race

Racetrack

Distance

1st (Points)

2nd (Points)

3rd (Points)

4th (Points)

Sept. 14

Iroquois

Churchill Downs

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Sept. 27

American Pharoah

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Oct. 5

Breeders’ Futurity

Keeneland

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Oct. 5

Champagne

Belmont Park

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Nov. 1

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

Nov. 30

Kentucky Jockey Club

Churchill Downs

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Dec. 2019

Remsen

Aqueduct

1 1/8 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Dec. 2019

Los Alamitos Futurity

Los Alamitos

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Dec. 15

Springboard Mile

Remington Park

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Jan. 2020

Jerome

Aqueduct

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Jan. 2020

Sham

Santa Anita

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Jan. 2020

Lecomte

Fair Grounds

1 Mile 70 Yards

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Jan. 24

Smarty Jones

Oaklawn Park

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Withers

Aqueduct

1 1/8 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Holy Bull

Gulfstream Park

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Robert B. Lewis

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Sam F. Davis

Tampa Bay Downs

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

El Camino Real Derby

Golden Gate

1 1/8 Miles (AW)

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 17

Southwest

Oaklawn Park

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

 

Kentucky Derby Championship Series (16 races)

 

Date

Race

Racetrack

Distance

1st (Points)

2nd (Points)

3rd (Points)

4th (Points)

Feb. 2020

Risen Star

Fair Grounds

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Fountain of Youth

Gulfstream Park

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Gotham

Aqueduct

1 Mile

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Tampa Bay Derby

Tampa Bay Downs

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

San Felipe

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Jeff Ruby Steaks

Turfway Park

1 1/8 Miles (AW)

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

March 14

Rebel

Oaklawn Park

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Louisiana Derby

Fair Grounds

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

March 2020

Sunland Derby

Sunland Park

1 1/8 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 28

UAE Derby

Meydan Racecourse

1 3/16 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

March 2020

Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Wood Memorial

Aqueduct

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Blue Grass

Keeneland

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Lexington

Keeneland

1 1/16 Miles

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

April 11

Arkansas Derby

Oaklawn Park

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

 

2018-19 EUROPEAN ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

7 Races

Date

Race

Racetrack

Distance

1st (Points)

2nd (Points)

3rd (Points)

4th (Points)

Sept. 28

Juddmonte Royal Lodge

Newmarket (GB)

1 Mile (T)

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Sept. 29

Beresford

Curragh (Ire)

1 Mile (T)

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Oct. 6

Qatar Prix Jean-LucLagardère

Longchamp (Fr)

1 Mile (T)

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Oct. 26

Vertem Futurity Trophy

Doncaster (GB)

1 Mile (T)

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

March 2020

Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes

Kempton Park (GB)

1 Mile (AW)

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

March 2020

Patton (Listed)

Dundalk (Ire)

1 Mile (AW)

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

April 2020

Cardinal Condition Stakes

Chelmsford City (GB)

1 Mile (AW)

(30)

(12)

(6)

(3)

 

2019-20 JAPAN ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

4 Races

Date

Race

Racetrack

Distance

1st (Points)

2nd (Points)

3rd (Points)

4th (Points)

Nov. 23

Cattleya Sho

Tokyo Racecourse

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Dec. 18

Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun

Kawasaki Racecourse

1 Mile

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

TBA 2020

Hyacinth

Tokyo Racecourse

1 Mile

(30)

(12)

(6)

(3)

TBA 2020

Fukuryu

Nakayama Racecourse

1 1/8 Miles

(40)

(16)

(8)

(4)

 

2019-20 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY OAKS SCHEDULE

30 Races

Kentucky Oaks Prep Season (15 races)

Date

Race

Racetrack

Distance

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Sept. 14

Pocahontas

Churchill Downs

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Sept. 27

Chandelier

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Oct. 4

Alcibiades

Keeneland

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Oct. 6

Frizette

Belmont Park

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Nov. 1

BC Juvenile Fillies

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

Nov. 30

Golden Rod

Churchill Downs

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Dec. 2019

Demoiselle

Aqueduct

1 1/8 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Dec. 2019

Starlet

Los Alamitos

1 1/16 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Jan. 2020

Santa Ynez

Santa Anita

7 Furlongs

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Jan. 2020

Silverbulletday

Fair Grounds

1 Mile 70 Yards

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Forward Gal

Gulfstream Park

7 Furlongs

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 1

Martha Washington

Oaklawn Park

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Busanda

Aqueduct

1 1/8 Miles

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Suncoast

Tampa Bay Downs

1 Mile 40 Yards

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

Feb. 2020

Las Virgenes

Santa Anita

1 Mile

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

 

Kentucky Oaks Championship Series (15 races)

 

Date

Race

Racetrack

Distance

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Feb. 2020

Rachel Alexandra

Fair Grounds

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

Feb. 2020

UAE Oaks

Meydan Racecourse

1 3/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Davona Dale

Gulfstream Park

1 Mile

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Busher Invitational

Aqueduct

1 Mile

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Bourbonette Oaks

Turfway Park

1 Mile (AW)

(20)

(8)

(4)

(2)

March 7

Honeybee

Oaklawn Park

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Santa Ysabel

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Fair Grounds Oaks

Fair Grounds

1 1/16 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

March 2020

Sunland Park Oaks

Sunland Park

1 1/16 Miles

(50)

(20)

(10)

(5)

March 2020

Gulfstream Park Oaks

Gulfstream Park

1 1/16 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Santa Anita Oaks

Santa Anita

1 1/16 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Gazelle

Aqueduct

1 1/8 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Ashland

Keeneland

1 1/16 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

April 2020

Beaumont

Keeneland

7 Furlongs

(10)

(4)

(2)

(1)

April 10

Fantasy

Oaklawn Park

1 1/16 Miles

(100)

(40)

(20)

(10)

 

Schedule subject to change. … (T) = Turf … (AW) = Synthetic … Race dates and distances to be announced by host track; date based on recent historical placement.