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How did the Illinois Derby stack up?

Departing_Saddlecloth
There are 7 races that award 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, 8 races that award 50 points, two wildcard races that hand out 20 points to the winner, and finally there are no less than 19 races in which the winner is awarded 10 points. 
 
Yesterday’s Illinois Derby carried zero Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
 
Connecting the dots, it stands to reason that each and every one of the 36 races that carry the prestige of Kentucky Derby points are in fact better races than Illinois’ richest dirt race. Surely they must be complete with both more quality top-to-bottom fields, and produce a more representative winner.
 
A more ridiculous statement likely has not been made on this year’s Derby trail.
 
No, Churchill Downs (the lord and master of those all-important Kentucky Derby points), races like Newmarket’s Royal Lodge Stakes, Woodbine’s Grey Stakes, Oaklawn Park’s Smarty Jones, Tampa Bay Downs’ Sam F. Davis Stakes, and Meydan's UAE Derby, just to name a few, are not superior races to the Illinois Derby … far from it. And there are others out of that large list of 36 races that are in fact weaker than the Illinois Derby; certainly Churchill Downs’ own Derby Trial should be a part of that list.
 
The premier race at Hawthorne produced a deep and solid field of 14 yesterday. I have little doubt that members of this year's Illinois Derby will go on to win stakes races this year and beyond. And as far as the winner, Departing, I consider him one of the best three-year-olds in the nation.
 
Is the 2013 Illinois Derby inferior to the 36 races on the Kentucky Derby qualifying list? No. Rather I believe it to be in the top 25% of these races. 
 
What say you, Churchill Downs?
 

 

What the Nation is saying about How did the Illinois Derby stack up?...

The reason you are not going to have a Commissioners off ice in horse racing is because the state horsemen boards are not going to cede authority nor are the privately owned racetracks going to cede authority to a commissioner. The problem for horse racing is also who would the commissioner be, Stronach and others would be a disaster as would someone completely out of the loop, think Ellen Mc Cain here of incompetence and corruption at the NYRA. Also who would appoint this commissioner?
You know there are rational countries that have uniform drug rules, claiming rules etc etc, right next door to you too.
This is another reason why racing needs a Commissioner's office like every major sport in the United States. I like the new points system and think the Derby will be a better race because of it, but the decision on which races gets points should be made on what is good for the sport and not just what is good for Churchill Downs.
  • annmatt · The thing you overlook is the KY Derby is owned by CDI! It's theirs to do with as they wish. It has been forever thus! I think most would agree they have been good stewards of the race, preserving its star status as one of, if not THE, premier race in the world. Even if their was a central commission, there is no way CD would ever cede control of its signature asset to others. · 366 days ago ·
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raising purses does not raise quality of participant
Now, I know why I didn't hear much about the Illinois Derby this year, their were no points for it, what disgrace. It is definately worth 50 points to the winner.
Based on the fact that over half of this years field were Triple Crown nominated horses, that Departing helped it look really good this year and that the purse was bumped up to $750k I think it will only be a matter of time before the IL Derby works its way back into the KyDerby picture.
I would've loved to see Departing in the Derby.
Hope Departing wins the Preakness by 10 lengths and the Belmont by 15. That would serve the weasles from Churchill Downs Inc. right.
If they can use the Sunland Derby, they can bloody well use the Illinois! And another thing - Who in the SamHill is going to use the Derby Trial as a prep and turn around and run back 7 days later???? That's about the stupidest thing I've seen in a long time. The Road To The Derby SHOULD start in NOv. with the BC Juvie, not a race in England in Sept! But you're right, Brian, it's messed up!
I agree completely with you and every race you said should be dropped.
Darren Rogers is on record saying they are looking at several changes and tweaks..I think they made whatever point they wanted to make about the Ill Derby and will fix this. A corporation first and foremost has to protect its assets, and you have to hand it to CD, they deliver every year the premier race in NA if not in the world. The current system is by far better at delivering a quality field on Derby day. Last year with Trinniberg is certainly proof of that...he and a couple of others took up slots likely that should have gone to horses more qualified. JMHO
Imagine the field if the race had counted!!??!!
I assume that this situation will be rectified in 2014.
Say them nothing. This was a business decision and there will never be enough press pressure to make them change

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.  



Kentucky Derby 2014