Kicking Off Year 6 of the Brooklyn Backstretch Charity League

Welcome to year six of the Brooklyn Backstretch Kentucky Derby charity game.  We started in 2009, piggybacking on the Saratoga Special Derby fantasy league, and from 2010 to 2013, we used the Road to the Roses as the base for our league play.

This year, handicapper and writer Mike Dorr (@mikdorr77), who writes about racing at Up the Track, has offered to put together our very own version.

As in years past, I pledge $75 to the racing charity of the winner’s choice. There’s no entry fee, but contributions are welcome; over the years, we’ve donated $2,500 to racing charities like Old Friends at Cabin Creek, Our Mims, the Belmont Child Care Association, and organizations that take care of the backstretch cats.  Every dollar donated goes straight to the charities; info on pledging can be found below.

In an abbreviated version of the game last year, long-time Brooklyn Backstretch reader Lynne Cassimeris was our winner, donating $475 to Our Mims, a sanctuary for retired broodmares in Kentucky.

This year’s contest is a point-based fantasy horse racing game based on the Kentucky Derby qualification system. Players will select a fantasy stable consisting of eight Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-old horses, and horses will earn points for the players’ stable with top-4 finishes in official Kentucky Derby qualifying races, racing in the Kentucky Derby, and a top-5 finish in the Kentucky Derby.

Points will be allocated according to the Kentucky Derby points system.  Kentucky Derby starters will earn an additional 30 points each; Kentucky Derby points will be, for finishes in the top 5, 300-120-60-30-15.

Mike has divided the Triple Crown-nominated horses into three groups based on criteria including current Derby points standings, graded stakes earnings, and Derby future wagering odds. Group A consists of 12 top horses, Group B 24, and Group C the remaining 378 TC nominations. Players will choose for their stable:

2 Group A horses
3 Group B horses
3 Group C horses

The groups are available in this Google doc.

You must select and post your stable by this Saturday, February 22, by 12:00 PM CST.

After the Sunland Park Derby on March 23, the horses will be divided into two groups (D & E, again grouped by performance criteria above) and stables will be able to add:

1 Group D horse
1 Group E horse

Round 2 of the contest will begin with the UAE Derby on March 29; supplemental horses must be selected by 6:00 PM CDT Friday, March 28. Points earned by Group D and E horses in Round 1 will not count toward the players’ total. A reminder post will go up the week before Round 2 begins.

The contest will conclude with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3. The winning stable will have the most accumulated points. In the unlikely event of a tie, ties will be broken as follows:

Highest # of Derby Starters in your stable
Highest # of Points at the end of Round 1

Questions? Contact Mike Dorr ( or me, leave a question in the comments, find us on Twitter (@BklynBckstretch).  As questions come in, we’ll post an FAQ.

If you’re interested in contributing, please leave the amount in the comments or e-mail me at

We hope that you’ll join us again this year by posting the names of your horses in the comments section by noon CST this Saturday. It will cost you nothing more than a little time to put together your stable, and I’ve already got one donation pledge, which means that at the very least, one person will be able to donate $150 to the racing charity of his or her choice.

Good luck, have fun, and join us to do some good for the racing community.

39 thoughts on “Kicking Off Year 6 of the Brooklyn Backstretch Charity League

  1. count me in! 🙂

    Group A horses: Candy Boy, Tamarando
    Group B horses: Conquest Titan, Ride On Curlin, Top Billing
    Group C horses: Bayern, Coltimus Prime, Hoppertunity

    (yes, i’m aware Coltimus Prime is a risk because there’s no good info as to where he’s pointing. but, he’s a risk i’m going to take! let’s see what taking him instead of Extrasexyhippzster, my first-out, does for me…)

  2. $100, and I’ll 2x if I win (which based on my history in this Contest is a pretty safe bet I won’t be contributing $200)

    Group A: Rise Up, Tapiture
    Group B: Ride on Curlin, Noble Moon, We Miss Artie
    Group C: Gold Hawk, Hoppertunity, No Nay Never

  3. I am in for $75…horses are:

    Group A – Commissioner & Tapiture
    Group B – Chitu & Top Billing
    Group C – Financial Mogul, Gen a Rod & Golden Hawk

  4. $75 Donation

    Group A- Candy Boy, Commissioner
    Group B- Conquest Titan, Samraat, Vicars in Trouble
    Group C- Bayern, General a Rod, Tonalist

  5. I’m in for $50

    A – Cairo Prince, Honor Code
    B – Conquest Titan, Intense Holiday, Top Billing
    C – Bourbon Sense, Kristo, Recall Dynaformer

  6. Group A: Cairo Prince, Strong Mandate

    Group B: Chitu, Top Billing, Vicar’s in Trouble

    Group C: Almost Famous, Constitution, Gold Hawk

  7. LeafLady – Recall Dynaformer broke down in a GP race 2 weeks ago. I need to remove him from the page, but please pick another Group C horse. Sorry – MD

  8. I’m sorry to read about Recall Dynaformer.

    Please substitute Penobscot (how could I have missed him, living in Maine as I do?)

  9. OK here goes. I will pledge $50.

    Group A: Cairo Prince, Rise Up
    Group B: Indianapolis, Ride on Curlin, Top Billing
    Group C: Gold Hawk, Hoppertunity, Vinceremos

  10. Heres my try 🙂

    A: Cairo Prince (slightly biased for the PotN offspring)

    B: Vicars in Trouble
    Uncle Sigh
    Conquest Titan

    C: No Nay Never
    Tap It Rich
    Wired Bryan (Another biased with local farm ties)

  11. OK, here we go. I probably should have posted mine first, so that you’d know which horses to avoid.

    Group A: Cairo Prince, Commissioner

    Group B: Tanzanite Cat, Midnight Hawk, Samraat

    Group C: Vinceremos, Wildcat Red, Bayern

    Update, 2/23: Yikes! The contest is barely a day old and we already have a scandal in the making.

    After I posted these, I changed my mind and entered my group B in the spreadsheet on Friday night as Tanzanite Cat, Intense Holiday, and Vicar’s in Trouble, but I never changed them here. I know, I know–it sounds terribly fishy but it’s absolutely true, but rest assured: in the unlikely event that I win this thing, I wouldn’t take the money, anyway — it would go to whoever finished second. So I’m going to enjoy this weekend’s wins, as it’s probably the last time I’ll be able to do so!

  12. In for $50, double if I win

    A: Candy Boy, Strong Mandate
    B: Indianapolis, Top Billing, Vicar’s in Trouble
    C: Albano, Bayern, Constitution

    cheers, Chris

  13. Team Rotondo is IN.

    $250 total pledge

    Group A: Candy Boy and Cairo Prince
    Group B: Chitu, Midnight Hawk and We Miss Artie
    Group C: Gold Hawk, Hoppertunity and Tap it Rich


  14. In the spirit of having mine on record:

    A: Havana, Strong Mandate
    B: Intense Holiday, Indianapolis, Top Billing
    C: Hoppertunity, Kristo, Almost Famous

  15. Group A: Tapiture; Honor Code
    Group B: Bobby’s Kitten; Indianapolis; Top Billing
    Group C: Almost Famous; Extrasexyhippzster; Constitiution

    Thanks! This will be fun 🙂

  16. Anyone who has lost faith in humanity needs only to look at these comments to have that faith restored. You all are amazing–I am awed. This donation is up nearly $1,300, and we’ve got a huge group of competitors, which makes it way more fun. Good luck and huge thanks to everyone!

  17. In for $50.00

    Group A: Candy Boy, Cairo Prince
    Group B: Top Billing, Tanzanite Cat, Samraat
    Group C: Dunkin Bend, In Trouble, Emmett Park

  18. Group A-honor code, shared belief
    Group B- intense holiday, top billing, midnight hawk
    Group C- kristo, almost famous,wired bryan

  19. My pledge is $75 and here are my picks:

    Group A:
    Cairo Prince
    Group B:
    Top Billing
    Vicar’s in Trouble
    Intense Holiday
    Group C:

  20. A- Bond Holder, Tapiture
    B- Top Billing, Vicar’s in Trouble, Indianapolis
    C- Bayern, General a Rod, Kristo

    Pledge $50 – 2x if I win.

    Thanks Teresa!

    Good luck to everyone & safe journeys for all of the horses.

  21. My Pledge is $100.00.

    A. Cairo Prince, Honor Code
    B. Noble Moon, Uncle Sigh, We Miss Artie
    C. Honorable Judge, Lawmaker Ria Antonia

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