Kentucky Derby Logo 2022

‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ Set, Baffert Horses Ineligible to Earn Oaks or Derby Points

Edited Press Release

The official “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” will begin Sept. 18 as Churchill Downs stages the $300,000 Iroquois (G3) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on opening weekend of its 12-day September Meet.

The “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” a series of select races that award a sliding scale of points to the Top 4 finishers, has determined preference for its 20-horse Kentucky Derby (G1) field since 2013. The 1 ¼-miles classic will be run at the historic track for the 148th consecutive year on May 7, 2022.

Effective Sept. 30, 2021, points from any race in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” will not be awarded to any horse trained by any individual who is suspended from racing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby or any trainer directly or indirectly employed, supervised, or advised by a suspended trainer. Should a horse trained by a suspended trainer, or any trainer directly or indirectly employed, supervised, or advised by a suspended trainer, finish in a position that would have earned points in a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” race occurring after Sept. 30, 2021, the points associated with that finish position will be vacated.

The same rules apply for the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, which awards points to fillies to qualify for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on May 6, 2022.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) announced on June 2 the suspension of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert for two years effective immediately through the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs Racetrack. 

The announcement from CDI came after the presence of the corticosteroid betamethasone in the post-race sample of 2021 Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Medina Spirit was confirmed by the split sample at a level of 25 picograms per milliliter of blood or plasma.

As was the case this year, the 2022 Kentucky Derby will be run without the permitted use of Furosemide (often referred to by the brand name, Lasix). Points will only be awarded to horses who compete on race day without Lasix in Road to the Kentucky Derby races.

The total number of races in the primary “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series has increased by one to 37. The inaugural $100,000 Gun Runner, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds at Fair Grounds on Dec. 26, has been added to the “Prep Season” and is worth 10-4-2-1 to the top four placings. 

Additionally, the new $100,000 Untapable, a one mile and 70-yard race for 2-year-old fillies that same race day at Fair Grounds, has been added to the Oaks series, which features a total of 32 races. 

This is the 10th consecutive year that Churchill Downs has used a point system to determine entrants for its famed Kentucky Derby. At least 20 horses have entered the “Run for the Roses” in 20 of the last 23 years and every year from 2004-19.

The Iroquois, which will be run under the lights as part of Churchill Downs’ “Downs After Dark” nighttime racing card on Sept. 18, will again kick off the 21-race “Prep Season,” which features foundation-building races over a minimum of one mile between mid-September and mid-February. Points awarded during the “Prep Season” are worth 10-4-2-1 to the top four placings, respectively, except for the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar, which is worth twice as much (20-8-4-2).

The 16-race “Championship Series” comprise springboard events that often bring the 3-year-old picture into sharper focus. First leg races offer 50-20-10-5 points to the Top 4 finishers: the Risen Star (Fair Grounds), Rebel (Oaklawn Park), Fountain of Youth (Gulfstream Park), Gotham (Aqueduct), Tampa Bay Derby (Tampa Bay Downs), San Felipe (Santa Anita) and Sunland Derby (Sunland Park). The most meaningful races are worth 100-40-20-10: the UAE Derby (Meydan Racecouse), Louisiana Derby (Fair Grounds), Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park), Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park), Jeff Ruby Steaks (Turfway Park), Wood Memorial (Aqueduct), Blue Grass (Keeneland) and Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita). Additionally, the Lexington (Keeneland) offers points on a scale of 20-8-4-2 to the first four placings.   

In addition to the primary “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, there are two separate series that each carve out one spot for a potential horse from Europe and Japan.

The sixth-year “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” series again features four races: Cattleya (10-4-2-1 at Tokyo), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun (20-8-4-2 at Kawasaki), Hyacinth (30-12-6-3 at Tokyo) and Fukuryu (40-16-8-4 at Nakayama). 

The fifth-year “European Road to the Kentucky Derby” again showcases seven races: the Juddmonte Royal Lodge (10-4-2-1 at Newmarket), Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford (10-4-2-1 at Curragh), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (10-4-2-1 at Longchamp), Vertem Futurity Trophy (10-4-2-1 at Doncaster), Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (20-8-4-2 at Kempton Park), Patton Stakes (20-8-4-2 at Dundalk) and Cardinal Condition Stakes (30-12-6-3 at Chelmsford City).

2021-22 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

37 Races

Kentucky Derby Prep Season (21 races)

DateRaceRacetrackDistance1st (Points)2nd (Points)3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
Sept. 18IroquoisChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 1American PharoahSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 2ChampagneBelmont Park1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 9Breeders’ FuturityKeeneland1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Nov. 5Breeders’ Cup JuvenileDel Mar1 1/16 Miles(20)(8)(4)(2)
Nov. 27Kentucky Jockey ClubChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Dec. 4RemsenAqueduct1 1/8 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Dec. 17Springboard MileRemington Park1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Dec. 18)Los Alamitos FuturityLos Alamitos1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Dec. 26)Gun RunnerFair Grounds1 1/16 M(10)(4)(2)(1)
Jan. 1Smarty JonesOaklawn Park1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Jan. 1)JeromeAqueduct1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Jan. 8)ShamSanta Anita1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Jan. 22)LecomteFair Grounds1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Jan. 29SouthwestOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Feb. 5)Holy BullGulfstream Park1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Feb. 5)Robert B. LewisSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Feb. 5Sam F. DavisTampa Bay Downs1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Feb. 12)WithersAqueduct1 1/8 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Feb. 19)El Camino Real DerbyGolden Gate1 1/8 Miles (AW)(10)(4)(2)(1)
(March 4)John Battaglia MemorialTurfway Park1 1/16 M (AW)(10)(4)(2)(1)

Kentucky Derby Championship Series (16 races)

DateRaceRacetrackDistance1st (Points)2nd (Points)3rd (Points)4th (Points)
(Feb. 19)Risen StarFair Grounds1 1/8 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
Feb. 26RebelOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 5)Fountain of YouthGulfstream Park1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 12)GothamAqueduct1 Mile(50)(20)(10)(5)
March 12Tampa Bay DerbyTampa Bay Downs1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 12)San FelipeSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 26)UAE DerbyMeydan Racecourse1 3/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(March 26)Louisiana DerbyFair Grounds1 3/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(March 27)Sunland DerbySunland Park1 1/8 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(April 2)Florida DerbyGulfstream Park1 1/8 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
April 2Arkansas DerbyOaklawn Park1 1/8 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 2)Jeff Ruby SteaksTurfway Park1 1/8 Miles (AW)(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 9)Wood MemorialAqueduct1 1/8 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 9)Blue GrassKeeneland1 1/8 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 9)Santa Anita DerbySanta Anita1 1/8 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 16)LexingtonKeeneland1 1/16 Miles(20)(8)(4)(2)

2021-22 EUROPEAN ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

7 Races

DateRaceRacetrackDistance1st (Points)2nd (Points)3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
Sept. 25Juddmonte Royal LodgeNewmarket (GB)1 Mile (T)(10)(4)(2)(1)
Sept. 25Alan Smurfit Memorial BeresfordCurragh (Ire)1 Mile (T)(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 3Qatar Prix Jean-Luc LagardèreLongchamp (Fr)7 Furlongs (T)(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 23Vertem Futurity TrophyDoncaster (GB)1 Mile (T)(10)(4)(2)(1)
(March 9)Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition StakesKempton Park (GB)1 Mile (AW)(20)(8)(4)(2)
(March 11)Patton (Listed)Dundalk (Ire)1 Mile (AW)(20)(8)(4)(2)
(April 7)Cardinal Condition StakesChelmsford City (GB)1 Mile (AW)(30)(12)(6)(3)

2021-22 JAPAN ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEDULE

4 Races

DateRaceRacetrackDistance1st (Points)2nd (Points)3rd (Points) 4th (Points)
(Nov. 27)CattleyaTokyo Racecourse1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Dec. 15)Zen-Nippon Nisai YushunKawasaki Racecourse1 Mile(20)(8)(4)(2)
(TBA)HyacinthTokyo Racecourse1 Mile(30)(12)(6)(3)
(TBA)FukuryuNakayama Racecourse1 1/8 Miles(40)(16)(8)(4)

2021-22 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY OAKS SCHEDULE

32 Races

Kentucky Oaks Prep Season (17 races)

DateRaceRacetrackDistance1st2nd3rd4th
Sept. 18PocahontasChurchill Downs 1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 1ChandelierSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 3FrizetteBelmont Park1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
Oct. 8AlcibiadesKeeneland1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Nov. 5BC Juvenile FilliesDel Mar1 1/16 Miles(20)(8)(4)(2)
Nov. 27Golden RodChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
Dec. 4DemoiselleAqueduct1 1/8 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Dec. 4)StarletLos Alamitos1 1/16 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Dec. 26)UntapableFair Grounds1 Mile 70 Yards(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Jan. 9)Santa YnezSanta Anita7 Furlongs(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Jan. 22)SilverbulletdayFair Grounds1 Mile 70 Yards(10)(4)(2)(1)
Jan. 29Martha WashingtonOaklawn Park1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Jan. 30)BusandaAqueduct1 1/8 Miles(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Feb. 5)Forward GalGulfstream Park7 Furlongs(10)(4)(2)(1)
Feb. 5SuncoastTampa Bay Downs1 Mile 40 Yards(10)(4)(2)(1)
(Feb. 12)Las VirgenesSanta Anita1 Mile(10)(4)(2)(1)
(March 4)Cincinnati TrophyTurfway Park6 ½ F (AW)(10)(4)(2)(1)

Kentucky Oaks Championship Series (15 races)

DateRaceRacetrackDistance1st2nd3rd4th
(Feb. 17)UAE OaksMeydan Racecourse1 3/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(Feb. 19)Rachel AlexandraFair Grounds1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
Feb. 26HoneybeeOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 5)Davona DaleGulfstream Park1 Mile(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 12)Busher InvitationalAqueduct1 Mile(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 13)Santa YsabelSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(March 26)Fair Grounds OaksFair Grounds1 1/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(March 26)Sunland Park OaksSunland Park1 1/16 Miles(50)(20)(10)(5)
(April 2)Gulfstream Park OaksGulfstream Park1 1/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
April 2FantasyOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 2)Bourbonette OaksTurfway Park1 Mile (AW)(50)(20)(10)(5)
(April 8)BeaumontKeeneland7 Furlongs(10)(4)(2)(1)
(April 9)GazelleAqueduct1 1/8 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 9)AshlandKeeneland1 1/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)
(April 9)Santa Anita OaksSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles(100)(40)(20)(10)

Schedule subject to change. … (T) = Turf … (AW) = Synthetic … Race dates and distances to be announced by host track; date based on recent historical placement.

HOW TO GET INTO THE KENTUCKY DERBY STARTING GATE – The Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve is a series of races that awards points to the Top 4 finishers in each race. The top 18 point earners will earn a spot in the starting gate for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby, which is scheduled for May 7, 2022. One invitation will be extended to the top point earners in the Europe Road to the Kentucky Derby and one invitation will be extended to the top point earners in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby field has been limited to 20 starters since 1975. At least 20 horses have entered the 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-olds in 20 of the last 23 years and every year from 2004-19.

HOW TO GET INTO THE KENTUCKY OAKS STARTING GATE – The Road to the Kentucky Oaks is a series that awards points to the Top 4 finishers in each race. The Top 14 point earners nominated to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) will earn a spot in the starting gate for the 148th running of the Kentucky Oaks which is scheduled for May 6, 2022. The 1 1/8-mile Oaks is the nation’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies. At least 14 horses have entered the in six of the last seven years (a rescheduled September 2020 in the lone exception).

TIEBREAKERS – 

·        America’s Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks: If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races. In the case of remaining ties, the additional starter(s) and/or also-eligible horses shall be determined by lifetime earnings. In the case of remaining ties, the additional starter(s) and/or also-eligible horses shall be determined by lot (aka a “shake”).  

·        European Road to the Kentucky Derby: If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races through April 16, 2022. In the case of remaining ties, the additional starter(s) and/or also-eligible horses shall be determined by lifetime earnings through April 16, 2022. In the case of remaining ties, the additional starter(s) and/or also-eligible horses shall be determined by lot (aka a “shake”). Any points earned in America’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby” will be credited to the horse’s point total in the “European Road to the Kentucky Derby.”

·        Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby: If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is lifetime earnings through April 16, 2022. In the case of remaining ties, the additional starter(s) and/or also-eligible horses shall be determined by lot (aka a “shake”). Any points earned in America’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby” will be credited to the horse’s point total in the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.”

FILLIES – If a filly wants to run in the Kentucky Derby she can, but she’ll have to earn her way into the field by accumulating points against open company just like the rest of the colts and geldings. Additionally, any points earned by a filly in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” series against open company will be credited to her point total in the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series.

DEAD-HEATS – In the event of a dead-heat (tie) those horses will divide equally the points they would have received jointly had one beaten the other.

SPLIT DIVISIONS – In the event a race is split into divisions and each division awards its originally published purse money, points will be awarded as scheduled for each division. If the originally published purse is reduced for each division, points will be reduced proportionally as well. 

LASIX – The 2021 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks marked the first year those races were run without the permitted use of Furosemide (often referred to by the brand name, Lasix). Points will only be awarded to horses who compete on race day without Lasix in Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks races. Any points earned by horses with Lasix on race day will be vacated.

MEDICATION VIOLATIONS – If the connections of a horse have been notified by a regulatory body about a medication violation from participation in a Road to the Kentucky Derby or Road to the Kentucky Oaks race, and that violation would result in disqualification, any accrued points from the race will be revoked until the matter reaches a legal conclusion. Accrued points will be reinstated if the matter is legally overturned prior to the running of the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks.  

DERBY/OAKS TRAINER SUSPENSION – Effective Sept. 30, 2021, points from any race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks will not be awarded to any horse trained by any individual who is suspended from racing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby or 2022 Kentucky Oaks or any trainer directly or indirectly employed, supervised, or advised by a suspended trainer. Should a horse trained by a suspended trainer, or any trainer directly or indirectly employed, supervised, or advised by a suspended trainer, finish in a position that would have earned points in a Road to the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks race occurring after Sept. 30, 2021, the points associated with that finish position will be vacated.