Used to be a Kentucky Derby prospect ran through a series of logically
progressing prep races, each a little longer in distance — Bay Shore to
Gotham to Wood Memorial, Hutcheson to Fountain of Youth to Florida
Derby, Santa Catalina (or the Robert B. Lewis, as it is now known) to
San Rafael or San Felipe to Santa Anita Derby.
Used to be runners traveled far and wide to sew up their Kentucky
Derby chances (the graded earnings system that determines the 20-horse
field has been in place since 1986, and the race has been limited to 20
starters since 1975)...