Spotlight shines on older horses
The arms race officially ended when Churchill Downs announced its point system for the Kentucky Derby. You remember, of course, the arms race, which encouraged racetracks competing for potential Triple Crown stars to dedicate more and more and yet more of their purse money, or rather horsemen's purse money, to stakes races for aspiring youngsters, with the collateral damage being the purses for everybody else and perhaps even the sport's future. Well, that's finished, horse racing's no longer picnicking on the slope of a volcano, and already the sport has felt some salubrious effects.
The three best American turf horses of a year ago also have returned, as have the best females.
In The Gate Podcast
Darren Rogers, Churchill Downs Sr VP of Communication, on Kentucky Derby new qualifying points system. Claire Novak analysis, plus Barry Abrams commentary.
But what makes this group of older horses so strong is that they're joined by so many talented 4-year-olds, such as Take Charge Indy, Bourbon Courage, Csaba and Graydar, who will all challenge Flat Out in the Donn.