Every year on the first Saturday of May, the Kentucky Derby is held. Have you ever wondered how this tradition started or the more recent tradition of the Kentucky Derby Prep Races 2020? Read below to find out more about it.
The History of the Kentucky Derby Race
The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually at the Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, United States ever since its inception on 17 May, 1875. Since then, this tradition has been going on every year uninterrupted, making it the longest running horse race in North America
Through all these years, the appeal of the race has remained the same to its audience, making it the race with the highest attendance in whole of North America. The race is also televised and its ratings are higher than any other race held in America.
The English Derby
This race fashions itself after the famous Derby Stakes in England. While initially the distance covered by the race was just 1 ½ miles, the distance was reduced to 1 ¼ miles in 1896 and its maintained till this date.
The Prestige of the Kentucky Derby
Owing to the popularity that it enjoys among the people along with the number of years since it has been running, it is indeed a very coveted title. In fact, the horse that wins this race literally becomes a household name in America. Not just that, the winners are also adorned with a blanket of roses in the Winner’s circle.
The 2020 Kentucky Derby Prep Race
In the traditional system, the qualifier was taken according to the total graded stakes earnings by a horse. Churchill Downs decided to refine this system to establish a clear, practical and understandable path and turned the classic earnings method in favor of a points based system.
New Changes Incorporated
With time, new changes have been incorporated to the race. Now the Derby Prep race has been incorporated under the banner of “The Road to the Kentucky Derby” and is also known as the Derby Trail. With the introduction of this prep series, the guidelines have become much simpler to understand, both for the Horsemen and the racing fans who come in support of the game.
Under these new changes, there are four groupings that combine to make up the entire race Series. The groupings have been listed below:
- The Kentucky Derby Prep Season that consists of 20 races. It commences in mid-September and is concluded by the end of February.
- The Kentucky Derby Champions Series comes next and has a total of 16 races. However, the rewards are not evenly distributed through these races and there are chances of doubling the reward in finals.
There are fair chances that those who excel in the Kentucky series will also be able to excel on the Champion Series which is worth the highest value of points. In 2017, the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby was also been introduced.