Kentucky Derby 2013: 'Run for the Roses' a wide-open affair (+video)
A number of three-year-old horses entered in this year's Kentucky Derby will have an opportunity Saturday to capture the garland of roses given to the winner.
Saturday marks the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Nineteen three-year-old horses will go to the post late in the day for the first leg of racing's Triple Crown.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Off to the races! The Triple Crown
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Originally, 20 horses were scheduled to run. But Friday morning, it was announced that Black Onyx had been scratched from the Derby and no other horse will run from his post position.
USAToday.com reported that this year, a points system based on horses' performance in pre-Derby races dating back to late last year was used to determine the final list of competitors.
For the first time, preference to get into America's most revered race was determined by a tiered points system comprising 36 races, with the emphasis on races at longer distances and later in the spring. Previously, it was based on who had the most earnings in graded-stakes races.
With such a large field, two trainers will continue a recent pattern of saddling multiple horses for the Derby. D. Wayne Lukas, a Hall of Fame trainer who has won the Derby four times, has two horses in the field. This year, he will enter Oxbow, winner of the Lecomte Stakes in January, and Will Take Charge, who won the Rebel Stakes in March.
Todd Pletcher, who used to work for Lukas before winning the Derby on his own in 2010, will have five horses in the Triple Crown race. Some observers think that Verrazano could win the mile-and-a-quarter race. Pletcher is also saddling Revolutionary, who is also generating some pre-race buzz. In addition, Overanalyze, Palace Malice, and Charming Kitten are under Pletcher's direction.