2018 Kentucky Derby

I know this is early sine the Derby qualifying races and the Breeders Cup have yet to be run but I thought i would make this discussion now.


  • Hmm not sure I'm liking this. They already have the UAE Derby which gives us Europeans on occasion, plus they have the Japanese series. I know that international horses often don't come regardless but with owners/trainers here in America dying for one of 20 slots, you're starting to limit yourself. It's just about the money. Maybe if they went back to the old way, interested international runners could apply based on adjusted earnings (which seems more ideal than mini series in their countries) but that will never happen.
  • IMO it should be about the best 3yos against the best 3yos. The Derby's reputation is not exactly stellar internationally, and I will always be happy about any attempt to get international players.
  • I second the notion of welcoming international competition with open arms =) It would be cool to see a Japanese, or Irish-bred American TC winner. Now that we've gotten a TC winner again, I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about the Triple Crown. May the best horse win :)
  • I don't know. Just don't see why the Derby needs an international appeal. We have the Breeders' Cup for that notion. All I see is wagering $$$$$. But that's just me!
  • Not that anybody with the real power to do anything about it really cares what I think, I believe the Kentucky Derby should be for the best American horses since it is such an old and tradition-oriented race. There are PLENTY of other races that are available and open to international competition. But the powers that be will do what they want, and I have no say in the matter. :/
  • I'm with you V_A. It's an American tradition and should stay that way. Dubai is the place to pit country against country in horseracing. Every horse outside Dubai has to travel and be in quarantine, etc. - an even playing field.
  • American horses compete at Ascot and great Euro races.
  • LionessLioness Member
    edited September 2017
    We are talking about the equivalent of the Epsom Derby here, not any others. As I said, we host the Breeders' Cup which brings over Europeans like Ascot brings over Americans. Does the Epsom Derby have international appeal? Not really. You enter as a yearling and it seems it's pretty much luck that secures you a berth (not familiar with this race). There are no international race series to guarantee you entries. As I said, not sure why our Derby needs this, though I do like having some structure in picking horses. Europeans can come through Dubai ala Thunder Snow. And we have the Japanese Road. Do we need another?
  • I do understand why they're doing it, even if I prefer American horses in the Derby. We get a lottt more wagering money from overseas when foreign horses run, so there's a huge financial benefit to encouraging it. I can't imagine too many European horses will attempt the Derby though, as it's a completely different surface than what they're used to racing on.
  • LionessLioness Member
    edited September 2017
    Oh yeah, I understand too. That's the only reason haha. That's why I can't back it ;) it's not about making the field better, it's about lining pockets
  • Of course it is. Handle is the reason horse racing exists in the U.S. No handle=no purses=no racing=nobody gets paid and horses don't earn their keep. it's a business. The foremost job of the racing secretary is to write races that will fill and attract bettors. If inviting foreign horses to the Derby increases the interest of bettors and the amount bet, then by definition it has improved the field.
  • I meant the quality of the horses.
  • I don't know, I think it could improve the quality of the field. Is our 19th or 20th best 3yo better than the best from Europe or the best from Japan? In general, I think not.
  • LionessLioness Member
    edited September 2017
    I don't know. Seems like a gamble to me. Is a turf horse ready to take on dirt horses bred and trained on dirt? Same for the tapeta surfaces which play like turf. We all saw Thunder Snow's mental breakdown which was because of the wet track I suppose? As for the money and handle, I don't think the Derby is hurting in that regard. It has probably the least argument in that manner of all American races.
  • Ummm...
    it's not exactly the way y'all seem to think.
    Both the European and the Japanese are separate from the US Derby points races. The points earned in the Eur and J qualifiers are NOT Derby Road points.

    Two invitations to compete in the Kentucky Derby – one from Japan and one from Europe – will be extended to a horse from their respective series with preference given to the horses that accrue the most points in their sequence. No invitation will be extended beyond the Top 4 point earners but if a horse also qualifies through America's 36-race “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, the invite will be extended to the next eligible horse. If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreakers are earnings in non-restricted stakes races followed by lifetime earnings. Should an invitation be declined by the Top 4 in either division, the next horse on America's “Road to the Kentucky Derby” preference list can assume the position in the starting gate.

    The US Road and the Euro and Japanese Roads are THREE separate pathways to the Derby.
  • How do horses earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby?:
  • Through a jockey's eyes - the Iroquois Stakes:
  • The Lead up to a Breeders' Cup Showdown:
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