06/14/2012 4:12PM

Kentucky Derby points system: Ranking the 2012 Derby field

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Churchill Downs on Thursday announced a new points system to determine eligibility for the Kentucky Derby starting in 2013, replacing the system of graded stakes earnings that had been in place since 1986. If the new system, awarding points for the top four finishes in certain prep races, had been in place this year, what would the 2012 Kentucky Derby field have looked like?

2012 Kentucky Derby field ranked by new points system

Horse Graded earnings Points
Bodemeister $660,000 120
Dullahan 855,000 111
Gemologist 703,855 110
I'll Have Another 601,000 110
Hansen 1,550,000 104
Creative Cause 836,000 102
Take Charge Indy 698,400 101
Daddy Long Legs 1,294,030 100
Union Rags 1,170,000 74
Prospective 367,327 64
El Padrino 250,000 62
Alpha 380,000 54
Optimizer 184,708 52
Daddy Nose Best 545,558 50
Went the Day Well 282,000 50
Sabercat 701,429 30
Rousing Sermon 270,000 24
My Adonis (AE) 140,000 22
Liaison 393,000 15
Done Talking 311,000 1
Trinniberg 324,500 0

• Trinniberg, who pressed the pace behind Bodemeister in the early stages of the Kentucky Derby, would have earned 0 points since his graded earnings came from sprint races.

• Illinois Derby winner Done Talking would have earned only 1 point as the fourth-place finisher in the Remsen. The Illinois Derby at Hawthorne was not included in the points series.

• In addition to those horses, Delta Jackpot winner Sabercat, Rousing Sermon, My Adonis, and Liaison would have likely found themselves on the bubble or excluded from the field. Churchill Downs officials said they expect a score of about 40 points to qualify a horse for the Kentucky Derby.

[MORE: Kentucky Derby entry to be determined by new points system | Trainers react]

Tom Smothers More than 1 year ago
I like it. We probably won't have 20 horses in the race which I always thought was about 6 too many anyway. They should set the bar at 50 points in order to compete in the race. I think that's fair.
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
i wonder if the elimination of turf scores in 2011 would have eliminated AK? This may be a start, but it sure ain't perfect, especially for fillies and trainers who teach their horses to stretch out as they get older. i am completely against the UAE derby counting at all- all Daddy Long legs did in this year's KD was take up a space another more deserving colt/ filly should have gotten. hmmm... no emphasis on the bc juvie? hmmmm....not saying it should give the 2 yr old a lock, but it should matter. and WHY include the derby trial unless they move the date back from a week before the real derby? more hmmm... it (the new system) does make one wonder whose horse got shut out this year...
Bob Jones More than 1 year ago
Not including the Illinois Derby is ridiculous. This plan needs a lot of work.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
If this system was in place in 2002 War Emblem would not have gotten in. This system is off.
Rick More than 1 year ago
Based on 2012 field doesn't looks so great. Even though he finished up the track, it was more interesting having Trinniberg in than MY Adonis (who had no shot). Illinois Derby should have some point value.
Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
Trinniberg had a shot?
rob More than 1 year ago
first off, yes, the real issue is field size..make it 16 at the most, you don't have to cut all the way to 14 right away if you care about the betting so much..second, this is great for the sport..it makes it more like other sports, football, baseball, basketball..do the teams that win by 40 against the worst teams make the playoffs, no?..the teams with the best records and highest number of wins make it..translated...the horses with the most points in the biggest races against the best horses wiill make it into the field...i'd rather see the best 10 horses in a crop race against each other than see sprint horses clog the far turn and not allow closers a chance..(union rags)
rob More than 1 year ago
this will also get the better horses competing against each other during the prep season instead of every1 dodging eachother..agreed it is a work in progress but give it 2-3 years n all the kinks will be worked out
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
If you had the better horses racing each other during the preps there would be no better horses in the Derby. They'd all be worn out or injured. It doesn't matter what system they used to get the best horses in the derby. The cream will always rise to the top.Cutting the field down to 14 horses doesn't make this game much easier. Bettors and trainers will still be whining about how their horse got a bad Trip.
Vincent Condeni More than 1 year ago
CORRECTION: In my earlier post , I mistakenly stated that the 3rd & 4th Horses had awful low points and earning. Actually, Dullahan, who Bombed Out in the Belmont, ran 3rd and had 111 Points, 2nd best to Bode who had 120 Points. If you "Key Boxed" IHA (110 Points,) in the KD, You would have caught the Exacta and Trifecta. Both paid monster prices! In short, the 2013 KD Chart may well become a handicapping factor and a betting tool. However, I would express caution in relying too heavily on the figures generated for the 2013 KD. Diceman
drksrhein More than 1 year ago
Seems that you could use both graded earnings AND a point system. Use both in a simple equation to achieve your Ky Derby field. Why all or nothing?
t More than 1 year ago
Races like the Delta Jackpot are great for the sport. Creating buzz on a Friday night or Saturday in December gives Off-tracks across the country a little boost and rewards the hardcore followers of watching the sport with meaningful races that otherwise would be another night of racing at Penn National, Delta, Charlestown and Cal Expo
paul More than 1 year ago
Sure, races such as the Delta Jackpot -- as well as other high-purse races at smaller tracks -- are good for the sport. And good for bettors all over the country. BUT, they do nothing to help Churchill's bottom line. So.... naturally Churchill is strong-arming the entire Kentucky Derby "apparatus" to suit its own agenda. No?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Look at the list of Delta Jackpot winners. Do they belong? No.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Screw Penn National, Delta, Charlestown and Cal Expo. Racing would be better if these tracks didn't take horses away from real tracks.
prose More than 1 year ago
I agree. Too many race tracks, too few horses. And you know what? Those are all tracks that would be CLOSED if it weren't for the slots. Now, what about the little trainers that make their living there? DO SOMETHING ELSE. You're not good enough. Period. Besides, thieves like Jamie Ness, who have no local connections, come in and steal all your purse money anyway.
t More than 1 year ago
Just do Qualifying 3 weeks before like in Quarter Horse Racing, Open up Churchill on a Friday or Sat night after Keeneland runs. This way CDI gets one more big card and doesn't have to share the wealth with the buzz they create in the race which they rightfully owns. The Kentucky Derby should be designed to better maximize shareholder's of CDI profit. Prep Races for the Derby will just get kicked to the curb with the exception of the LA derby they do nothing for CDI's bottomline. This is the first shot fired at an attempt to kill off Ky Derby preps that don't conform to CDI
Elizabeth More than 1 year ago
You may have a point with yoru last sentence, but I wonder if CDI is willing to buck over one hundred years of tradition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What preps exactly don't conform to CDI? What does that even mean? How is the new system helping CD in any way?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, not including the Illinois Derby (War Emblem) is an absolutely horrible way of shunning a Derby prep because it isn't part of a select group of racetracks. The Louisiana Derby (Grindstone in 1995!!) and the UAE Derby (How many Kentucky Derby winners has it produced in the last 20 years?) are in. The BC Juvenile (which could be run at a variety of different tracks) is given minimal points because it is run at a mile, 7-8 months before the Derby but the Derby Trial (Exclusive to Churchill Downs) which is run at a mile a couple of WEEKS before the Derby are given equal points? Who in their right mind thinks these two races are on equal footing?
Patrick Mooney More than 1 year ago
CDI tries to act like it honors tradition, but they would do almost anything for another nickel. Derby at night is forthcoming and Derby seats for the average fan is on the way out.
Paul Garcia More than 1 year ago
That's an awesome idea!!! You can have preps to get a bunch of colts into the qualifier races, and then pick the top finishers to run in the Derby. But, then again, wouldn't this make the Triple Crown virtually impossible. Too many races. It might be a better idea for the Breeders Cup. That way there is a racing fest in the month prior to the Breeders Cup. Tracks would really try to get the Breeders Cup at their location if it meant a solid month of racing. One month for the routes and two weeks before for the sprints. Interesting.
Jim More than 1 year ago
Probably right regarding too many races - at least for modern day race horses - but wasn't always the case. As I recall Affirmed raced nine times as a two year old and had four derby preps as a three year before sweeping the TC in three tough and memorable races that hooked this fan on the sport. Not sure what the fairest way to qualify derby contenders but am aligned with those that believe twenty is maybe six to eight too many. On the other hand, I totally understand the brimming confidence and dreams displayed by owners / connections for the chance at what for most will be a once in a lifetime event.
Vincent Condeni More than 1 year ago
Caution! The 2012 KD Field and Points assigned could be another Factor in a Math System! The 2012 KD Winner, IHA,earned 110 Points and Bode, who ran 2nd had 120 Points. They did combine for the Exacta, but the 3rd and 4th Horses had awful low Points. This rational, using earned Graded Points, is too similar in concept with the Beyer Figures, and therefore is a toss out. Beyer uses comparative Times and the Point Chart is based on Dollars earned. I will look and analyze the Chart but not bet it as currently constructed. In short, betting and winning on Horse Racing must include selective Math Figures properly constructed and analyzed! There is no easy shortcut! Diceman
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
Diceman - I don't believe the point system will be a handicapping tool or in any way predict the winner.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Whats the difference you'll still have 20 horses to choose from in the Derby and most of you will lose period.
Elizabeth More than 1 year ago
Seems to me they just made understanding how horses qualify for the Derby harder instead of easier for the casual horse player. With the graded earnings system, you check what horse has what earnings and voila, you have an idea of your field. With this new system, there's a lot of work involved to keep track of who won what points every week. Lots of people will just be too lazy or too turned off by the amount of "work" in this systsem to bother with it.
Valerie Rice More than 1 year ago
What work are you talking about? How did you check a horse's earnings before? If you're like me, you googled "2012 Kentucky Derby" and got a list of 100 3-year-olds and thier earnings. The reporters were keeping track of it. You really think that those same reporters won't keep track of points the same way they kept track of earnings? Because it's too hard? Really? Trust me, next year, google "Road to the Derby" and you'll know exactly who's in.