It's not easy to get qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but these twenty race horses did it.
The 143rd Kentucky Derby, fondly known as the "Run for the Roses," will take place at Churchill Downs on May 6, and the list of qualified horses has been posted.
The qualifying process is not easy, and the horses that will be running in the race began qualifying for it as early as last September.
Five years ago, the Kentucky Derby implemented a tiered point system to determine which horses would qualify for the race. Select races around the country, known as "prep races," count as qualifiers, are run at tracks like Aqueduct, Santa Anita, Belmont, Keenland, and more. Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race. The horses are ranked according to how many points they have accumulated, and the top twenty earn a spot in the starting gate for the Derby.
The final prep race, the Lexington Stakes, was held last Saturday at Keenland, solidifying the list of qualified contenders.
Here are the top twenty horses and their trainers who have earned a spot in the 2017 Kentucky Derby:
- Girvin, 150, Joe Sharp
- Classic Empire, 132, Mark Casse
- Gormley, 125, John Shirreffs
- Irap, 113, Doug O'Neill
- Irish War Cry, 110, Graham Motion
- Thunder Snow, 100, Saeed bin Suroor
- Always Dreaming, 100, Todd Pletcher
- Gunnevera, 84, Antonio Sano
- Practical Joke, 74, Chad Brown
- J Boys Echo, 63, Dale Romans
- State of Honor, 62, Mark Casse
- Tapwrit, 54, Todd Pletcher
- Malagacy, 50, Todd Pletcher
- Hence, 50, Steve Asmussen
- Fast and Accurate, 50, Mike Maker
- McCraken, 40, Ian Wilkes
- Battle of Midway, 40, Jerry Hollendorfer
- Patch, 40, Todd Pletcher
- Battalion Runner, 40, Todd Pletcher
- Cloud Computing, 40, Chad Brown
That is not to say the list can't still change. There is already talk that Cloud Computing may not run, and if his trainer and owners decide to sit it out, that would provide the chance for Untrapped, who is currently 21st in the point standings, to run.
The full list can be viewed here and the Kentucky Derby will be held in Louisville, Kentucky on May 6.
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