Get ready, everyone! I would like to invite you all to join me in the fourth annual "Road to the Kentucky Derby" informal Handicapping Challenge!
Starting on January 2nd and continuing until January 5th, players may choose a stable of eight horses (plus one jockey and one trainer) that will earn points based on their performances in a series of official Kentucky Derby prep races (the list of races is included below.) Points will be awarded to the top four finishers in each race, although the number of points awarded will vary from race to race. For example, if I choose Good Magic for my stable and he goes on to win the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II), I will earn 100 points, but if he were to instead win a race like the Fountain of Youth (gr. II), I would only earn 50 points. Trainer and jockey points will be awarded only if the trainer or jockey in question wins a race and not if they finish second, third, or fourth; 10 points will be awarded for each prep race that a trainer or jockey wins, regardless of the actual points available in the race, while 50 points will be awarded if your jockey or trainer wins the Kentucky Derby.
Also, each week, players will be able to designate one of their horses as a "prime" horse, and will earn double the number of points for that horse's performance that week. For example, if a player were to designate Good Magic as their prime horse on the week of the Blue Grass Stakes and Good Magic won the race, that player would earn 200 points, double the standard 100 points. Designating a prime horse each week will not be a requirement, but it will add a bit of additional intrigue to the contest, and give players a chance to gain extra points if they think one of their horses is ready to run a big race. To designate your prime horse each week, simply leave a comment on this page with the name of your prime horse and the race in which they are running.
Players will get a chance to add two additional horses to their stables starting on March 26th and ending on March 29th. The contest will culminate with the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on May 5th, which will offer points on a 200-80-40-20 basis to the top four finishers. Whoever accumulates the most points by the end of the contest wins bragging rights as the Unlocking Winners Kentucky Derby Handicapper of the Year! :)
All contest entries, stable additions, and prime horses MUST be posted on this contest page; any contest entries, stable additions, and prime horses posted on other pages or blog posts will not be accepted. In addition, players will only be allowed to join the contest during the initial joining period from January 2nd to January 5th; any entries submitted after this time will not be accepted. All dates mentioned are subject to slight change depending on changes to the dates and schedule of Kentucky Derby prep races.
To simplify the scoring process, please do not post anything except contest entries, stable additions, and prime horses in the comments on this page.
The complete list of contest races, along with the points available in each race, can be found here: https://www.kentuckyderby.com/horses/prep-races. Our contest will begin with the January 6th Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Good luck to all!
Contest EntriesThe contest has not yet begun.