We’re off! Kentucky Derby Charity League 2017 Launches Today

Twin Spires1Welcome to year nine of the Brooklyn Backstretch Kentucky Derby charity league!

Last year we raised more than $2,300 for racing charities across the country, and as we did in 2015, we awarded donation money to the top three finishers, resulting in significant donations to Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue and Old Friends at Cabin Creek, thanks to our winner John Perotti (runner-up in 2015, winner in 2014), runner-up Michael Slezak, and third-place finisher Bob Deering.


Over the eight years we’ve done this, we’ve raised nearly $10,000 for racing charities; past recipients include Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Days’ End Horse RescueOur MimsOld Friends at Cabin Creek, and ReRun.

Back when we started, I pledged $75 to the charity of the winner’s choice. Quickly, pledges and donations from participants, unsolicited, followed, in impressive, generous amounts. As always, a donation is not required to play, but are welcome, in any amount.

Every dollar donated goes straight to the charities, and information on pledging can be found below.

Here’s how it works:

Select a fantasy stable consisting of 12 Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-old horses. Horses earn points 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 Dorr, who writes about racing at Up the Track, has set up our spreadsheet, and Linda Walker has listed all of the horses for you. We divided the Triple Crown-nominated horses into three groups based on current Derby points standings.

Players will choose for their stable:

  • 3 Group A horses
  • 4 Group B horses
  • 5 Group C horses

The groups are available in this Google doc.  You must select and post your stable by this Saturday, March 4, by 12:00 PM CST.

After the Rebel Stakes on March 18th, 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 25; supplemental horses must be selected by 6:00 PM CDT Friday, March 24. Points earned by Group D and E horses in Round 1 will not count toward the players’ total.

The contest will conclude with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6. 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

A reminder post will go up the week before Round 2 begins.

If you finish in the top 3, you’ll be able to choose the organization(s) to which your prize money is donated. All recipient organizations must be registered 501(C)3 charities and must support the well-being of the humans and animals in Thoroughbred racing or on the backstretch.

If you want to play, please post the names of the horses for your stable in the comments below (if you are a first-time or infrequent commenter here, your post will be held in moderation until I can approve it, which generally happens relatively quickly.)

If you want to pledge/contribute, please leave the amount in the comments or e-mail me at Teresa@brooklynbackstretch.com. We’d love to surpass the amount of money that we raised last year.

Questions? Contact Mike Dorr (mikedorr77@yahoo.com) or me, leave a question in the comments, find us on Twitter (@BklynBckstretch, @mikedorr77).

Good luck, have fun, and let’s do some good for the racing community.

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