Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kentucky Derby Point Race Standings

Like it or not, the 20 spots in the starting gate for the 139th Kentucky Derby will not be based on graded stakes earnings as it has since 1986, but instead points earned in 36 races designated by a completely unbiased (cough) Churchill Downs Incorporated.

I'm on record as liking the concept; I like the idea of a roadmap towards the starting gate. I'm content with watching it happen this year and I think that some really interesting tweaks can be added to the system over the next several years if the men in grey flannel suits can get a bit outside the box. Right off the bat, one of my beefs has been a 2 YO wins a $1.0 Million dollar pot in one of racino races or the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the super genius trainers start to conjure up how little they can start their charge before the first Saturday in May. The next tweaks should reward the runners who take part in the most prep races with a weighted ball advantage at the starting gate draw.

Anyhow, before tomorrow's Smarty Jones we are 12 races into the chase, with 7 left in the Prep Season before we reach the more lucrative Championship Series.

It's realistic that a horse will win the Prep Season with as few as 34 points. The first leg of the Championship Series awards 50 points for a win and 20 for Place, which makes the value of the Prep Season fairly poor. The second leg of the Championship Series is worth 100 Points for the win and only 40 points for Place, so you could argue that current prep leaders Shanghai Bobby and Goldencents need only win one more race and they are cemented. I think some tweaks to the number of points per race may be justified as well.

We'll keep making suggestions and then summarize them after the Kentucky Derby is run.

My beloved Buffalo Sabres just kicked the snot out of the Flyers. All is right in the world again. Have fun race fans, Turk Out!

By the way, I have skipped all coverage of the Eclipse Awards on purpose: I think these sort of popularity contests are a joke and I'd rather see the awards based on points just like this. How Frankel can't be Horse of the Year, I'm still waiting for a sane answer on that. Joke, not to be taken seriously.

1 comment:

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