Race of the Week 2017

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A New York State of Racing

Revolutionary after Kentucky Derby points in the Withers

There are a total of 2,261 points available in all of the qualifying races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.  With just three months until the first Saturday in May, only 238 of those points have been won.
This Saturday, the $200,000 Withers will be run as the second leg of the New York Derby Trail. The mile and a sixteenth, grade three stakes, carries a 10-4-2-1 point scale to the top four finishers as did the first 19 races in the Kentucky Derby Prep Season.
Revolutionary, trained by Todd Pletcher, heads a field of eight horses as the 3-5 morning line favorite. The War Pass colt finished in the money in his first three starts even though he had difficult trips.  He rallied from a distant last place in his first start after being “clobbered at the break and checked” according to the Daily Racing Form running line.
All the pieces came together for the $210,000 two year-old purchase in his fourth start on the Aqueduct inner track when he ran off to an eight-length maiden victory while earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure for the mile. Pletcher had been expecting big things from Revolutionary, “We weren’t surprised he did something impressive, and it was the first time everything had gone smoothly.”
Kiaran McLaughlin has an entry for Darley that represents the 7-2 morning line second choice. Long River is bred for the classic distances with AP Indy as the father and 2006 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner, Round Pond, as the mother. Long River finished fourth in the Jerome (G2) last time out. The other half of the entry is Valid, a $500,000 yearling, who comes to the Withers after a maiden win at Laurel on the last day of 2012.
Also in the race are the place and show horses from the Jerome. Siete de Oros fought head and head down the stretch only to lose at the wire to the impressive Vyjack. Trainer Ramon Preciado brings his rider, Maria Remedio, and horse up from Parx. Amerigo Vespucci finished two lengths behind in the Jerome and a half-length ahead of Long River. He ships up from Laurel with in the money finishes in all five of his starts.
The Withers is a part of the new puzzle that the Road to the Derby points system presents to the trainers of the Derby hopefuls. There has been much debate about how many points it will take to make the field of the first leg of the Triple Crown. Ninety percent of the qualifying points are still up for grabs.
If you take a look back at the field for the 2012 Kentucky Derby and figure out how many points each horse would have had based on this year’s new system, you get a very interesting picture. The field of 20 would have held 1,347 of the total 2,291 possible points or 59.5 percent.
At the end of the Derby Trail there are seven races that offer a 100-40-20-10 point scale and last year six of those winners were in the Derby including the top three finishers in the Run for Roses.
In the chart you can see each starter’s point totals and the points that each horse earned in their final Derby prep. Clearly four of the horses, that ran based on graded stakes earnings only in 2012, would not qualify in 2013.
The Withers is one of 22 races left to be run on the Road to the Derby. Those 22 races still carry close to 2,000 points. Each of those races will put another piece in the Kentucky Derby points puzzle.
Revolutionary photo courtesy of NYRA / Adam Coglianese 


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Older Comments about Revolutionary after Kentucky Derby points in the Withers...

Loving me some Long River in the Withers. Think we may see this one continue on the Derby trail down the road.
@george.obrien.3557, The horses who would not have made the Derby field last year were Liaison, Done Talking, and Trinniberg according to this Thoroughbred Times article. This information is located in the very last paragraph, but there is much more to the article, including points earned by past Derby winners over the last 15 years. http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2012/06/14/points-based-system-will-determine-kentucky-derby-field.aspx
Go to Kentucky Derby 2013 tab and watch the comparison of points earned under current system vs. Gr Stakes earnings to follow how 2013 unfolds. New system vs. old.
I want to see how Siete d'Oro does
I like the chart Matt. Gives good perspective as to the "what if's". Now WHY the Withers was excluded is beyond me. My guess is NY has plenty others (w/ points) later on the Trail. It's interesting that JC comes to NY to ride REVOLUTIONARY. Obviuously, the thoughts are for the bigger Derby Points down the road. I can hear Pletcher now, "we don't need no stinkin' points".
Can you tell which horses lost a Derby start last year if point system had been used?
UPDATE -- I forgot to mention that Long River is First Time Lasix in the Withers.
That 102 BSF is going to be tough to duplicate. I'm interested to see if this Revolutionary is more than a flash in the pan.
Revolutionary has already burned so much money, but after his last, I'm beginning to think their is some substance to all the hype.

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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