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Kentucky Derby Betting Odds - New World Order

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 6/18/2012 3:06:22 PM

In a radical change to the formation of the Kentucky Derby field, Churchill Downs has announced a new selection process for starters that will be built through points accrued in selected prep races and sportsbook online betting sites players will have to now pay special attention to each prep race and what it means in the long run.

The concept is sound in principle as it will be akin to having a regular season, a playoff and a champ and the thinking behind the new system is that more fans would take interest.

The plan calls for 36 races to be selected by Churchill staff that will be used for the process. The former Graded earnings systems involved 185 contests.

That in itself is a good thing. The new system will be known as ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ and will start this fall with 2-year-olds able to get points in designated races.

The system will be divided into 4 phases with different point scales.

The ‘Prep Season’ will go from late September to February with a 10-4-2-1 formal for the superfecta finishers. These races are basically foundation-building races.

The next section will span 10 weeks with a 50-20-10-5 success possible. It will include races like the Risen Star, the Tampa Bay Derby, the San Felipe and the Sunland Derby.

The next section will have 7 races involved. They are the Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Santa Anita Derbys and the UAE Derby, the Wood Memorial and the Blue Grass. These will kind of be like the Final Four in college basketball and will carry a value of 100-40-20-10.

The last stage is like the Wild Card of the baseball playoffs with the Lexington and the Derby Trial that will over points of 20-8-4-2.

The top 20 sports betting earners will get into the Derby with possibly 4 also eligibles which would be ranked accordingly.

Earnings in non-restricted stakes races will be used as a tiebreaker.

Some of the juvenile races that are designated for points may be under valued. For instance, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Cash Call Futurity and Breeders Futurity will all have a high value of 10 points, the same points for the Withers and Sam Davis, races that have not been star makers traditionally over the years.

Sometimes, you have to be careful what you wish for and in this case Churchill has all the aces and all the cards. By determining the point system, Churchill can reward the tracks they own and disrespect competitor tracks and that can’t be the best of things.

For online sports bettors, this is just another piece of the puzzle as we all will be trying to figure out what runners need how many points and at what time of the year to get to the Big Dance. This will affect handicapping as much as the size and the quality of the prep fields.

The new format will benefit late-developing runners that excel as the distances increase. It may even help the maturation process of runners in that they may not have to be pushed so hard early.


For a game that has had stagnant thoughts for decades, at least Churchill is trying to be proactive and help the fan base. This can’t be all a bad thing and once the tweaks are out of the system, it may prove to be a very effective online sportsbook system.

Stay tuned.

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