Covering Kentucky

Aug 27, 2014 12:41 PM

Los Alamitos Futurity Added To 2014-15 'Road To The Kentucky Derby' Series

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 "Road to the Kentucky Derby." The series of 35 select races - 19 "Prep Season" races and 16 "Championship Series" races - will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

The 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity, a race formerly known as the Hollywood (1981-2006) and CashCall (2007-13) Futurity at the now-shuttered Betfair Hollywood Park, will be run for the first time at Los Alamitos Race Course - the home base for 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome - on Saturday, Dec. 20. The race produced six Kentucky Derby winners during its run at Hollywood Park.

"The robust commitments by the team at Los Alamitos suggest a strong desire to be included in our series, and we're confident the race is likely to attract aspiring and compelling Derby prospects," said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. "We're delighted to welcome the Los Alamitos Futurity to the Kentucky Derby ‘Prep Season.'"

Points awarded to the Top 4 finishers in the Los Alamitos Futurity will be 10-4-2-1 as part of the "Prep Season" that showcases foundation-building races over a minimum of one mile between September and mid-February. It commences Sept. 6 at the home of the Derby with the $100,000 Iroquois (GIII) over 1 1/16 miles.

The 16 significant events that comprise the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series" during the 10-week run-up to the first Saturday in May remain unchanged from a year ago.

This is the third consecutive year that Churchill Downs Racetrack will use a sliding scale of points awarded to the Top 4 finishers in choice races to determine preference for its 20-horse Derby field. At least 20 horses have entered the 1 ¼-mile classic for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds every year since 2004, and 14 of the last 16 years.

In the first two years of the point system, the horses that topped the leaderboard with 150 points each won the Kentucky Derby: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable's Orb in 2013 and Steve Coburn and Perry Martin's California Chrome in 2014.

A similar series remains in place to qualify for the Derby's sister race, the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) for 3-year-old fillies on Friday, May 1, 2015. The lone change to the 31-race "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series is the addition of the $350,000 Starlet (GI), a 1 1/16-mile "Prep Season" race scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos. Like the Futurity, the Starlet also had been previously run at Hollywood Park.

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