Understanding Kentucky Derby Qualifications

Understanding Kentucky Derby Qualifications

The final stretch of the 2012 Kentucky Derby prep season is well underway, and already there have been some major shocks that once again have handicappers and racing fans alike throwing their hands up in the air, asking the pleading question, “Will a clear Kentucky Derby favorite please show himself?” So far, the answer is no.

The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 5, 2012, with a post time of 6:24 P.M E.D.T. at venerable Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The Derby may not be the richest race in the world or North America, but it is by far the most prestigious, and since it’s also the first leg of the Triple Crown, which is the absolute crown jewel of American thoroughbred horse racing, it’s easy to see why owners, trainers, and jockeys are all clamoring for a shot at winning this race on the first Saturday in May.

Since the Kentucky Derby is a race that, with its long history and tradition, attracts so much national media attention, it would seem only right that we provide you with a quick rundown on the Kentucky Derby qualifications that each of the twenty horses that ultimately are chosen must have before they can secure themselves a place in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses.

First, only three-year-old thoroughbred racehorses are allowed to compete in the Kentucky Derby. These three-year-olds can either colts or fillies, and can also be geldings or roans. In the history of the race, nine geldings have won (most recently Mine That Bird in 2009), three fillies have won (last was Winning Colors in 1988), while no roans have ever won. The overwhelming majority of the winners of this race have been colts.

Thoroughbreds are eligible to compete in races at the juvenile age of two years old. They typically run in a special category of races called maiden special weights (MSW) until they win their first race. The usual move is to then have the horse run in an allowance race. Once a horse wins an allowance race in good form, a good horse is then sent to run in graded stakes races, and it’s here where the key to Kentucky Derby qualifications lies. Hundreds of racehorses compete in graded stakes races when they are two and three-years-old, but only the top twenty horses on that list are able to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby and, therefore, a chance at immortality for the owner, trainer, jockey, and of course, the horse.




You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
  • Brystar earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • MIG70STABLE earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • Brystar earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • Brystar earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • Brystar earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gosuper earned 406,692 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 379,665 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 379,665 Points playing our game.
  • blackghost earned 322,179 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 301,587 Points playing our game.
  • savagepaw earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • rero0517 earned 295,152 Points playing our game.
  • rlparlett earned 293,436 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 284,083 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 267,567 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 247,747 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 246,246 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 243,672 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 240,768 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 235,950 Points playing our game.
  • dustyla2 earned 234,448 Points playing our game.
  • jackpotrace earned 232,947 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 231,231 Points playing our game.
  • jackpotrace earned 223,938 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 212,355 Points playing our game.
  • blackghost earned 205,920 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 203,989 Points playing our game.
  • starzagazin earned 202,831 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 202,702 Points playing our game.
  • natboy earned 201,415 Points playing our game.
  • Baronex earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Bryonoxy earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • savagepaw earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • savagepaw earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • savagepaw earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Makbule earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • maurice21 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Brystar earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Trooperken earned 195,624 Points playing our game.
  • pepperkid earned 190,476 Points playing our game.
  • conleyj@sbcglobal.net earned 189,189 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 184,860 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 180,180 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • pack1998 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • brusko earned 179,107 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 178,893 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 178,464 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 172,575 Points playing our game.
  • blackcaviar007 earned 172,575 Points playing our game.
  • tentpeg77 earned 170,000 Points playing our game.
  • tentpeg77 earned 170,000 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 156,370 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 153,582 Points playing our game.
  • stonedlocust earned 150,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 115,830 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 100,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 81,000 Points playing our game.
  • sapadog earned 52,650 Points playing our game.
  • frelance earned 50,000 Points playing our game.
  • conleyj@sbcglobal.net earned 45,000 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 45,000 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 45,000 Points playing our game.
  • soplas_917 earned 38,000 Points playing our game.
  • dustyrider earned 36,720 Points playing our game.