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Derby criteria not perfect

Sensible suggestions for revision of the Kentucky Derby qualifying process take a beating when there is a nonsensical winner such as Mine That Bird.

For more than 20 years, money earned in graded races has determined the 20 horses in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Occasionally, that fails — Eddington and Rock Hard Ten, both third in prestigious prep races, were excluded from the 2003 Derby because they didn’t have the necessary bankroll.

In reaction to such exclusions and in anticipation of skewed purses to come, well thought out alternatives have been offered.

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