New Derby qualifying not simpler, but a needed shakeup | WDRB
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) — Churchill Downs today released plans for a dramatically different qualifying process for the Kentucky Derby, taking a page from NASCAR and the PGA to create a points system for reaching the Run for the Roses.
Calling it the “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” race officials say they’re hoping it will be more understandable for fans accustomed to following leagues and standings.
The new system should shake up what had become set strategies for reaching the race, and does streamline the route to the Derby by limiting the number of “points” races to 36. Previously, earnings from 185 graded-stakes determined the field.
The new points system is a historic departure from the way fields have been determined. But it’s not necessarily easier to understand. In fact, on its face, it may be more difficult for the casual fan to understand than the system already in place.