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.
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
If you’re interested in contributing, please leave the amount in the comments or e-mail me at Teresa@brooklynbackstretch.com.
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.