How do you get to the 2017 Kentucky Derby? Practice. And also by being among the 20 horses with the most points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby (RTTKD). The RTTKD is a tiered point system in select races which will determine who earns a spot in the starting gate on Saturday, May 6th. This year’s RTTKD consists of 35 races – 19 races for the Kentucky Derby Prep Season and 16 races for the Kentucky Derby Championship Season. The series of designated races takes the horses to tracks across the USA and around the world. And the best part is that horse betting fans can wager on these races, so there’s no need to wait for Kentucky Derby betting.
How does the Road to the Kentucky Derby work? Points are given to the top four finishers in each individual race. In each of the first five races, four of which have already been contested, the winner gets 10 points, second place earns 4 points, third place gets 2 points, and the fourth place is awarded 1 point. Thus, Not This Time (won the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs on September 17th), Gormley (won the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on October 1st), Practical Joke (won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont on October 8th), and Classic Empire (won the Breeder’s Futurity at Keeneland on October 8th) lead the standings with 10 points each.
Additionally, Looking at Lee has finished second twice and thus has 8 points, while Syndergaard and Klimt have 4 points, Favorable Outcome, Wild Shot, Straight Fire, and Recruiting Ready have 2 points, and Big Gray Rocket, No Dozing, Midnight Pleasure, and Honor Thy Father have 1 point. However, a win in the upcoming Breeders' Cup Juvenile is worth 20 points and could put any of those one-pointers in the lead. And while most of the races stick to the 10-4-2-1 format, a few of them can award up to 50 points (for example, the Fountain of Youth), and even 100 points (such as the Santa Anita Derby). And that’s not to mention the cash winnings for both horse owners and horse betting fans.
The RTTKD is not just a system to determine which horses get to run the Kentucky Derby, though. As a matter of fact, it could also be a measuring yard stick for horse betting experts to gauge which contender could win one or more of the three legs of the Triple Crown, or even the whole enchilada. For instance, Nyquist and Exaggerator finished second and third respectively in the 2016 RTTKD and went on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, also respectively. On the other hand, the most recent Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, finished fourth in the 2015 Road to the Kentucky Derby.