Sunday, January 13, 2013


At Santa Anita Racetrack on Saturday, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, rode 5-1 Branding to a 2 1/2 length win. This was Gary Stevens' third mount after he came out of a seven year retirement.

Gary Stevens has won three Kentucky Derby races and eight Breeder Cup races. He retired with 4,888 wins and this is his first win after he came out of retirement on January 6, 2013.

Besides riding in his assigned races, Gary Stevens will also being doing analysis for HRTV and NBC.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby will now be determined by a point system in qualifying prep races. The idea behind this is to gain more interest leading up to the Derby. The system is similar to a regular season, then a playoff and then the Derby.

Churchill Downs has selected 36 races this year to lead up to the Derby. These races are divided into four phases. The first phase is called the Kentucky Derby Prep Season, spanning stakes races from late September to February. These races will have a point system of 10-4-2-1 for the top four finishers in each race.

After these races the Kentucky Derby Championship races will be held. This will be the more traditional prep races and will have a 50-20-10-5 point system. After these races, phase three will consist of the biggest races leading up to the Derby, the Florida Derby, the Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, the Arkansas Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, the Louisiana Derby and the UAE Derby in Dubai. These races will have a 100-40-20-10 point system. The last phase is a wild card phase, two races right before the Derby that can put a horse on the bubble to qualify for one of the 20 post positions.

As of today Goldencents, trained by Doug O'Neill, is leading with 24 points. Todd Pletchers horse, Shanghai Bobby, is in second with 20 points.

The next race is the Lecomte on January 19, 2013 at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana.

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