In any other year, the Ohio Derby is a perfect Graded Stakes race for many horses that did not fare well in the Kentucky Derby or missed it completely. Because of the postponement of the 2020 Kentucky Derby, the historic graded stakes race for 3-year-olds is offering more than purse money in this year's edition.
On Saturday, the top four finishers in the Ohio Derby were awarded Kentucky Derby qualifying points on a scale of 20-8-4-2. Here is an updated look at the points picture after the Ohio Derby and how this race affected the points leaderboard ahead of the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.
Because of the points getting scaled back to the lowest payout since the Spiral Stakes, no entries from the Ohio Derby -- won in an upset by Dean Martini -- scored enough to be considered a lock for qualifying. With a total of nine races remaining on the revised Road to the Kentucky Derby points series, including six that will award at least 50 points to the winner, any of the starters in the Ohio Derby can still qualify if they return to one of the remaining qualification races with their next start.
Currently, the son of Court Vision is ranked in the top 20, but it’s unlikely at this point that anything under 40 points will be enough once entries are taken later this year.
In four consecutive Kentucky Derby points races since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Storm the Court has had plenty of opportunities. Still, by not finishing better than third in any of those races, he remains on the bubble. The trail to the Kentucky Derby has been challenging for the Peter Eurton trainee, but it’s not over yet as he may get one last chance to qualify.
Dean Martini, 20 points
It’s never too late to qualify for the Kentucky Derby in 2020, and it could still happen for the son of Cairo Prince. If so, what a story it could be for Dean Martini.
Though he finished in the top 3 in six of his first seven races, it wasn’t until his eighth career start that Dean Martini finally entered the winner’s circle. After finishing second best next time out, Tom Amoss took advantage of the opportunity and entered him in his first career graded stakes race. As the winner of the Ohio Derby, Dean Martini now has 20 points and an outside chance at qualifying if he stays on the Kentucky Derby trail next time out. But the entry fee for the Kentucky Derby is going to be expensive since he was not nominated for the Triple Crown.
South Bend, 8 points
Without winning on Saturday, it might be too little, too late for the son of Algorithms. In his first Kentucky Derby points race since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Jockey Club, South Bend scored his first points with a runner-up finish in the Ohio Derby. It was a valiant effort from as far back as a 12th place, but since the points payout was minimal, his chances of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby didn’t improve enough. His connections may give him one last chance to qualify, but he may also be a horse that is more likely to not return to the Kentucky Derby trail.
Rowdy Yates, 2 points
During a successful juvenile season that included three wins in stakes races, Rowdy Yates did not fare as well in a pair of Kentucky Derby qualification races. After finishing fifth in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) and seventh in the Remington Springboard Mile, Steve Asmussen did not return Rowdy Yates to the Kentucky Derby trail until Saturday. Though he notched his first top-four finish in a points race, his effort wasn’t impressive enough to consider him good enough to qualify at this point even if he gets one more start in a Kentucky Derby points series race.
2020 Kentucky Derby Points Totals Leaderboard