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The road to Kentucky Derby

The Derby Dispatch for Thursday, April 4, 2019

Apr 5, 2019 Kevin Kerstein,Churchill Downs Communications

Three vital steppingstones to the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) – the Wood Memorial (GII), Blue Grass (GII) and Santa Anita Derby (GI) – will be staged Saturday as 3-year-old Thoroughbreds continue their quest to accumulate sufficient points to start in the 145th running of America’s greatest race on Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Each race Saturday will award 100 points to the winner and 40 points to the runner-up, which is an almost-guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. Additionally, the three 1 1/8-mile races will award 20 and 10 points, respectively, to the third and fourth-place finishers, which could be decisive to those competitors that have already garnered points in earlier races.

One word to describe this year’s Road to the Kentucky Derby is competitive. Out of 40 different point races, there have been 37 different winners. At this point last year there were 32.

Compelling drama will be abundant as the prospects jostle for points with hope of landing within the Top 20 point leaders at the end of the Road to the Kentucky Derby (reminder: two invitational spots could be carved out for a horse on the European and Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, respectively).

The Wood Memorial will go as Race 10 at Aqueduct with a post time of 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). The Blue Grass is Keeneland’s Race 10 at 6:23 p.m. and the Santa Anita Derby is Race 9 at 7:18 p.m.

All three Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship Series races will be televised live on NBCSNbeginning at 5:30 p.m. The races also will be broadcast on satellite radio’s Sirius 83 as part of Horse Racing Radio network

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