On September 29th the first official American race of the Derby Prep Season will take place at Santa Anita. The Grade I Frontrunner Stakes, which was formerly the Norfolk Stakes, is worth $250,000, and an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which will also be run at Santa Anita.
For those who are not familiar with the new point system, it’s called the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and will use points gained from different races to determine the field for the 2013 “Run for the Roses”. The initial phase of the point system is called the “Kentucky Derby Prep Season” and includes 19 races which are at or over a mile in distance. These races basically build the foundation for the next phase of the point system, which is called the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series”. The “Championship Series” also awards points, based on finish, and those points are added to the totals accumulated from the “Prep Season”. The races we are familiar with as being important Derby preps, such as the Wood Memorial, Bluegrass Stakes, Florida Derby, and the Santa Anita Derby are all contests that are a big part of the “Championship Series” and the point totals given to the winners of those races over some of the earlier, lower graded races is significant.
For a complete look at the races in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” and the point system, check out the Paulick Report; Paulick Report on Derby Championship Series
Del Mar Futurity winner and the Bob Baffert trained Rolling Fog is expected to run in the Frontrunner Stakes, as is Doug O’Neill’s Know More, who began his racing career by taking the Grade II Best Pal Stakes in early August. These two will likely be the favorites and hopefully it will be the beginning of a rivalry, as the pair finished first and second in the aforementioned Del Mar Futurity. DerbyDeals.com will keep an eye on entries to the race as the date draws closer. Another key race to watch will take place on the east coast at Belmont Park on October 6th. The Grade I Champagne Stakes is a part of the “Kentucky Derby Prep Season” and awards ten points to the winner. Shanghai Bobby is one of HorseRacingNation.com’s top rated colts and he is expected to be a favorite along with Bern Identity and Spurious Precision, in this highly anticipated race.
As you can see, it’s time to put the two-year-old class into focus if you are a follower of the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown racing. DerbyDeals.com will be there, every step of the way to provide you with the information you need! If you are planning on going to Louisville and Churchill Downs for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, make sure you check out DerbyDeals.com for great prices on Kentucky Derby tickets and all-inclusive Kentucky Derby ticket packages!