Current Derby Point System in Question

Regarding the current point system in making it into the Kentucky Derby: Not too long ago a trainer would have a promising 2-year-old that had shown some potential. So he raced his 2-year-old and as the horse ran well the trainer would start spotting his horse in races with the hopes that his horse would further develop and gain conditioning, experience and bottom with the hopes of building up the horse possibly for the Kentucky Derby.  After the winter layoff this trainer typically would figure on giving his now 3-year-old say two prep races to get him stretched out heading to Kentucky. The thinking used to be that he had instilled a good amount of conditioning and bottom into his 2-year-old season  to help give the horse a solid foundation into his 3-year-old season.

But with the current point system in place much of this training logic is out the window. Most of the 2-year-old races don’t count for much including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. So a horse that had a successful 2-year-old campaign still has to have a big prep season at 3 or risk not getting into the Kentucky Derby.

I can see why many trainers are opposed to the current point system. In fact a promising horse with potential should now be campaigned to have 3 preps as a 3-year-old just in case he finds difficulty or poor racing luck in one of his preps. And why run in the BC Juvenile any more? The points going forward count less as compared to a February Grade 3 prep in Osh Kosh.

I think the point system has merit however I think it still needs work. For example right now the The BC Juvenile counts for 10 points on the win, the same as the Delta Downs Jackpot? The Remsen? The Sham? The Lecomte? This shouldn’t be happening. At the very least why didn’t they value the races in the point system closer to the importance of race purse value? If they did the point totals would have had more balance. No, not exactly by purse value of the race but by using the purse value  for aiding more point influence, the point system would have had more balance and had been structured showing the importance of several other races on the Derby trail.  In any event using the races purse value would have pushed the current point system in a better direction.

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