'Road to the Kentucky Derby' includes 34 races
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)
The ''Road to the Kentucky Derby'' series will include 34 races, with a point system deciding which horses run in next year's first leg of the Triple Crown.
Churchill Downs said Friday the series has been reduced by two races. Two races - the Iroquois at Churchill and the Jerome at Aqueduct - have been added to the prep portion of the series between September and mid-February.
Three preps were removed: the Royal Lodge in Europe, the CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park and the Sam F. Davis in Florida. The Derby Trial, run a week before the Derby since 1982, has been dropped as a wild-card race.
A sliding scale of points is awarded to the top four finishers in select races. The top 20 point earners nominated to the Triple Crown can start in the Derby on May 3.
A year ago, Churchill dropped the graded stakes earnings criteria that had been used for 27 years to decide the field.