New Kentucky Derby point system: Illinois Derby gets the shaft

June 14, 2012 05:02pm
Let’s face it, the Illinois Derby is not the strongest of preps for the Run for the Roses, but on the other hand, last time I checked it was still a Kentucky Derby prep. Not so according to the decision makers at Churchill Downs. Kind of odd for a race that I always enjoy attending and in the past dozen or so years, has seen many good horses either run in or win the mainstay of the Hawthorne Race Course spring schedule.
Well, decision makers at Churchill Downs, you made a mistake by not showing even a modicum of respect to the lone Kentucky Derby prep in Chicagoland, and here are ten of my favorite reasons why…
1999 Vision and Verse – Could not win a Triple Crown race, but narrow losses in the Belmont and Travers, plus more than a million in lifetime earnings proved the last Illinois Derby winner of the 20th century’s class.
2002 War Emblem – Parlayed a win in Illinois into wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on his way to an Eclipse Award as Champion Three-Year-Old.
2003 Ten Most Wanted – Bad luck in the Kentucky Derby left him with no chance, but the Illinois Derby winner came back to finish second in the Belmont and win the Travers to prove himself as one of the best of his generation.
2004 Pollard’s Vision – Blind Luck’s sire needed only one good eye to take the Illinois Derby as part of a career that saw this millionaire win four graded stakes, and finish in the money in seven more.
2005 Magna Graduate – He could only finish third in the big race at Hawthorne, but three years, six graded stakes wins, and nearly $2.5 million in the bank later, he called it a successful career.
2006 Sweetnorthernsaint – He didn’t get it done at Churchill Downs, but after winning the Illinois Derby he was so respected that he went off as the Kentucky Derby favorite. Two weeks later he came back to run second in the Preakness.

2008 Recapturetheglory – Does not possess the name of some on the list, but four years removed from his strong win in the Illinois Derby and subsequent solid 5th in the Kentucky Derby, he is still going strong and racking up good finishes in stakes races.
2009 Musket Man – After an impressive win at Hawthorne, this son of Yonaguska came back to finish a tough-luck 3rd in the Kentucky Derby and then 3rd in the Preakness on the way to completing a stellar career.
2009 Giant Oak – He did not have the Triple Crown success of the horse who beat him in the Illinois Derby, but the 2009 runner-up did become a multiple grade 1 winner and an earner of nearly a million-and-a-half.
2010 Yawanna Twist – Still a horse to fear in the big races, this New York-bred graded stakes winner parlayed a second place finish in the Illinois Derby two years ago into a Preakness effort that saw him finish 4th while beaten less than two lengths by winner Lookin at Lucky.


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Older Comments about New Kentucky Derby point system: Illinois Derby gets the shaft...

More like a "flaring nostril"!!!! I always felt that McCarron(who was on Cavonnier) was on cruise control late in the race, running alongside the rail to victory, when Bailey came flying on the extreme outside with Grindstone. I don't think McCarron ever saw that horse, until after the finish line.
how many time has Baffert finished second in the big dance. Didn't he run second to Grdinstone? Another colt destroyed by old D. Wayne
Ruffian75..The only Louisiana Derby I have gotten to see was the one that Grindstone won, I remember after he won the Kentucky Derby, a headline in the paper said...."It's By A Nose To Grindstone"
Mike in SB, I stand corrected. I remember that Grindstone ran in the Arkansas Derby. Guess I thought he had lost the La Derby, so they tried the Ark Derby. He is one of the rare few that have won the La Derby, and then the Ky Derby. Protagonist: War Emblem did not win the Louisiana Derby. His was the Illinois Derby.
Risen Star was probably the best of them to come out of that contest of late. On the board in the Derby after a rough trip and then Louie Roussel, with help from the Little Sisters of the Poor, garnered the final two legs and............was promptly retired.....Good splash by Red's son.
Grindstone won the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby.
One of the MAJOR reasons FG colts don't transition well is the track itself there: IT takes a late running colt to win in New Orleans with that long long stretch......Most of the late movers like Pyro and Sweetnoterhnsaint do not transfer too well to the Chruchill and Pimlico race courses
It wasn't so much so that I never thought a La Derby horse had won the Ky Derby, as much as none had won in recent memory(going back to the '60's). I am disappointed in this point system, though. I love longshots, and Mine That Bird, Super Saver, and, Giacomo, might not have been in the race. Everybody loves longshots. Remember the movie "Hoosiers"? Underdogs.
Just like the diamond industry: Control the entire market and the final product has more worth
Dragon Along ran in the 1970's around 1974-1977. The Sweetnorthersaint entry is who I was refering to concerning 2006 running of The Kentucky Derby.
to our fellow blogger who doesn't think that the Louisiana Derby has ever produced a Kentucky Derby Winner. The answer that your seeking is, look up War Emblem of recent note and of course there is the oft forgotten Black Gold back in the early 1900's, possibly around 1920's. As for the illinois Derby , there have been numerous entries into the Kentucky Derby that have run in the Illinois Derby. IE Dragon Along , that 2006 entry that was the post time favorite ,that then came back to run second in the Preekness that year. This is all a farce on the Churchill Downs management part. go back to this years Kentucy Oaks, the beans were spilt in the winner circle presentation. Something to the effect , That everyone present there was a Kentuckian. Read between thier lines. They have failed to properly manage Calder, Arlington Park, the Fairgrounds, have all gone down hill since CDI overtook them/ took over management of them.. The only thing that they have left to quote Rhett Butler as he talked about the South in GWTW is Arrogance and Ignorance! Today in CDI's Arrogance and Ignorance they have instituted this Assanine Point system of thiers,with reguard to an International Event and an American Tradition, The Kentucky Derby!
As for the races that get points, versus the Illinois Derby, Sunland Derby has one horse to show for its laurels. I'm not sure, but, I don't believe any Louisiana Derby winner has ever won the Ky Derby. Maybe Grindstone? But, he didn't win the La Derby. Probably the best that I can think of, might be Risen Star? Point being, Illinois Derby has had some decent colts come out of its race, yet, in a blatant political move, they're being short-changed on the Run For The Roses.
This point system sucks, it prevents Calvin Borel from winning aboard those 15 point horses like MTB.
Yes! Illinois did get the big hard one from Eggsucking CDI, but that's nothing new as hard core horsemen will tell you CDI front side management isn't worth a shit!
This August the Hall is adding Russell Baze to their gallery. Born In Vancouver many a moon ago
Lou is one of the true gentlemen of the game. He just retired last year from his greatest love: The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame which he was the founding director. I hope they will still have a function come next season.
I remember Lou. He used to be a reporter for the Globe and Mail and had a daily racing column. I remember the book though I never read it. The bias was a long time ago, before the formation of the Jockey Club, which EP Taylor organized to govern racing in Ontario. That was when they built Woodbine and got rid of the leaky-roof circuit, tracks like Dufferin and Thorn Hill, etc., and confined racing to Fort Erie, Old Woodbine (later Greenwood), and Woodbine.
read Lou Cauz's great book The Plate:A Royal Tradition and you will discover that east coast bias.
Travel Vic the Queen’s Plate excluding western bred horses must go back a long ways. In 1965 Whistling Sea won both the Trial and the Plate and he was bred in Calgary.
The POLITICS could have something to do with the fact that Arlington Park is under the Churchill Downs umbrella and Hawthorne is not. Because of Illinois racing dates Arlington has no chance to showcase a prep for the Derby while Hawthorne has run the Illinois Derby for years.

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