Unlike other years before it, the Kentucky Derby preseason races now officially start in September. By changing the way that the contenders are selected, Kentucky Derby organizers hoped to introduce a system that is similar to other tournaments and playoffs. Now, race horse bettors have more horse races to focus on than ever before, hence, more excitement throughout the year.
With new interest in getting amateur horse bettors into the mix, old pros will have bigger betting pools for each of these 36 horse races, the Kentucky Derby preseason races. Although the action really heats up between February and May, there are 12 races before that with potential big wins.
Why is there a new Preseason Kentucky Derby points system?
Over the past 10 years, there have been many upsets to the horse racing industry in the United States. Unlike England, Ireland, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia; North America has a “graying” population of fans. In order to get younger people excited about horse racing, years of marketing evaluation was done.
The conclusion that was reached was that many new horse racing fans were unable to figure out why each race was important. In order to simplify the sport and give newcomers an idea of when they should be betting, the Kentucky Derby preseason and prep season points system was developed for the 2012-2013 year.
The new Kentucky Derby Prep Season points system
This year, all of the 36 prep races for the Kentucky Derby are awarded points. This replaces their former system where contenders were selected by their cumulative purse winnings (often referred to as graded earnings). The horse with the most winnings up until the Kentucky Derby was selected to run in the grand finale, but this was difficult to follow for amateur bettors. Now, the contenders have an easier way to get their foot into the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Divided up into one preseason and two “legs”, each of the three segments has a different set of potential points. In the first round, there are not as many points awarded as in subsequent rounds. Despite this, there is a chance that these smaller accumulations of points will matter towards the end.
The points system for the 2013 Kentucky Derby preseason and the two legs of the prep race season are:
Preseason: 10 (1st place), 4 (2nd place), 2 (3rd place), 1 (4th place)
First Leg: 50 (1st place), 20 (2nd place), 10 (3rd place), 5 (4th place)
Second Leg: 100 (1st place), 40 (2nd place), 20 (3rd place), 10 (4th place)
How the preseason affects race horse and Kentucky Derby bettors
Have you placed a bet in the past for a baseball player’s cumulative points for the season at the beginning of the season? Kentucky Derby officials are hoping that this kind of points spread betting will take off for horse racing too, especially for the Kentucky Derby betting. For example, a horse wins the first few preseason races and starts to show potential as a Kentucky Derby contender. With this in mind, betting racebooks will feature this horse several months before the Kentucky Derby and allow bettors to place a wager on whether it will accumulate enough points to be admitted into the Derby. Of course, these types of a long-term bets pay extremely well.
Want to bet on the Derby Preseason Races?
Here are the recommended racebooks to do so
Kentucky Derby preseason races will change
Although there are 36 preseason horse races this year, it does not mean that the 2014 Kentucky Derby will have these same races set in stone. However, this current set of preseason races is unlikely to stay the same since many excluded races are making a fuss. For instance, officials at the Illinois Derby felt that they were unfairly overlooked for the 2013 Kentucky Derby preseason. In all likelihood, the Kentucky Derby point system will change each year to highlight other races and racetracks.
Currently, the 2012-2013 Kentucky Derby preseason race schedule is as follows:
September 29, 2012 – Royal Lodge Stakes, Grade 2, Rowley Mile Racecourse, purse: $155,000
September 29, 2012 – Front Runner Stakes, Grade 1, Santa Anita Park, purse: $250,000
October 6, 2012 – Breeders’ Futurity, Grade 1, Keeneland Racetrack, purse: $400,000
October 6, 2012 – Champagne Stakes, Grade 1, Belmont Park purse: $400,000
October 7, 2012 – Grey Stakes, Grade 3, Woodbine Racetrack, purse: $200,000
November 3, 2012 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Grade 1, Santa Anita Park, purse: $2 million
November 17, 2012 – Delta Downs Jackpot, Grade 3, Delta Downs, purse: $1 million
November 24, 2012 – Remsen Stakes, Grade 2, Aqueduct Racetrack, purse: $250,000
November 24, 2012 – Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, Grade 2, Churchill Downs, purse: $150,000
December 15, 2012 – CashCall Futurity, Grade 1, Hollywood Park, purse: $750,000
January 5, 2013 – Sham Stakes, Grade 3, Santa Anita Park, purse: $100,000
January 19, 2013 – Lecomte Stakes, Grade 3, The Fair Grounds Racetrack, purse: $200,000
January 21, 2013 – Smarty Jones Stakes, Oaklawn Park, purse: $150,000
January 26, 2013 – Holy Bull Stakes, Grade 3, Gulfstream Park, purse: $400,000
February 2, 2013 – Robert B. Lewis Stakes, Grade 2, Santa Anita Park, purse: $200,000
February 2, 2013 – Sam F. Davis Stakes, Grade 3, Tampa Bay Racetrack, purse: $200,000
February 2, 2013 – Withers Stakes, Grade 3, Aqueduct Racetrack, purse: $200,000
February 16, 2013 – El Camino Real Derby, Grade 3, Golden Gate Park, purse: $200,000
February 18, 2013 – Southwest Stakes, Grade 3, Oaklawn Park, purse: $300,000