The Kentucky Derby picture will come into focus by sundown Saturday as three major prep races, the Blue Grass at Keeneland, Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct will have been run. Each race rewards the winner with 100 Derby-qualifying points which is a green light to the Derby starting gate. Second is 40 points, third 20 and fourth 10. Just one 100 point race, next week’s Arkansas Derby, remains.
Only 20 horses qualify for the Derby so the points matter, especially for a horse like Keepmeinmind, trained by Robertino Diodoro. The colt is #20 on the Derby list now and will run in the Blue Grass. He will need to run well to make the gate and may need the points. There are many stacked up behind him that are also racing. Derby Fever is real. An owner that has a 3-year-old with sufficient points will more likely than not take that shot which means some are on the outside looking in.
The Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest features all 11 races on the Keeneland program plus the other two prep races, which along with the Blue Grass offer double contest points. The rules for this free-to-enter contest are here.
Deadline to enter is first post at Keeneland at noon.