03/02/2018 10:09AM

Bad weather prompts postponement of Kentucky Derby qualifiers in England


​The two races this week in England that are part of Churchill Downs’s new European Road to the Kentucky Derby were postponed because of wintry conditions.

The Patton Stakes at Dundalk, originally scheduled for March 2, will be run on March 9, while the March 1 Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes at Kempton Park now is set for March 7.

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby comprises seven races, four of which were run last year, with the Burradon Stakes on March 30 at Newcastle the last in the series. The top point earner in the series whose connections want to run in the Derby is assured one of the 20 available starting spots.

The current leading overseas Derby hope is Mendelssohn, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in his most recent start but has no Derby qualifying points. Mendelssohn was an early entrant in the Kempton and Dundalk races, as well as in another race Saturday at Lingfield Park, but was withdrawn from all three spots before final entries were taken.

O’Brien said last fall he wasn’t inclined to race Mendelssohn in America before the Derby, and unless that position has changed, there are only two races in which Mendelsson can qualify: the Burradon or the UAE Derby on March 31 in Dubai. The UAE Derby is a major qualifying race as part of the primary Road to the Kentucky Derby program.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays, and analysis