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    The Road to the Kentucky starts Saturday at Churchill Downs with the Grade 3 $100,000-added Iroquois Stakes for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. It is the first of 19 designated prep races in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points system. A field of nine will vie for10 points and tops on the early Kentucky Derby leaderboard.

    The Kentucky Derby points system replaced the graded stakes earnings system as the determiner of Kentucky Derby entrants. In the first phase, the Kentucky Derby Prep Season that concludes next February, the top four finishers in 19 pre-determined races are awarded points of 10-4-2-1, respectively. In the first leg of phase two, the Championship Series, the top four finishers in 8 pre-determined races are awarded points of 50-20-10-5, respectively. In the second leg of the Championship Series, the top four finishers in the 7 pre-determined races receive points of 100-40-20-10, respectively. One final race, the Lexington at Keeneland Apr. 18, is worth points of 10-4-2-1.

    Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas sends out the 5-2 favorite in Zayat Stable’s Mr. Z. This son of Malibu Moon exits a runner-up finish to the impressive I Spent It in the Saratoga Special (G2) last month. He earned a Brisnet speed figure of 94 for the effort, which backs up the 92 he earned when finishing second by a neck in the Sanford Stakes (G3) July 19. Additionally, Mr. Z turned in a sharp workout just days ago. Jockey Corey Lanerie was aboard for the work and will be in the irons as the duo breaks from post two Saturday.

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    Jessie Oswald's picture

    About Jessie Oswald

    I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as a paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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