Churchill Downs to Launch Free 'Road to the Roses' Online Game

Mar 11, 2013 John Asher

Churchill Downs Racetrack will launch the 2013 version of its free “Road to the Roses Presented by” Kentucky Derby online fantasy game of skill with a registration period that runs from March 22-28.

Participants can select a stable of six 3-year-old Thoroughbreds nominated to the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown races – there’s a limit of five stables per person – and earn points for a Top 4 finish in “Kentucky Derby Championship Series” races.

The grand prize for the stable that amasses the highest point total is a package estimated at $5,000 that includes a VIP trip for two to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, air travel, hotel accommodations and other official Kentucky Derby items. Prizes will be awarded to the Top 25 finishers.

Scoring opportunities for participating stables will begin Saturday, March 30 – the start of Leg 2 of the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series” on the new “Road to the Kentucky Derby” point system that determines eligibility of horses to compete in America’s Greatest Race – and conclude with the 139th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 4.

The six-week, 10-race version of “Road to the Roses” includes seven events with scoring on the Derby eligibility points scale of 100-40-20-10 for their respective top four finishers; two “Wild Card” races with scoring of 20-8-4-2; and the Kentucky Derby, in which 200-80-40-20 will be awarded to the Top 4 finishers:

  • March 30 Florida Derby (100-40-20-10)
  • March 30 Louisiana Derby (100-40-20-10)
  • March 30 UAE Derby (100-40-20-10)
  • April 6 Wood Memorial (100-40-20-10)
  • April 6 Santa Anita Derby (100-40-20-10)
  • April 13 Arkansas Derby (100-40-20-10)
  • April 13 Blue Grass (100-40-20-10)
  • April 20 Lexington (20-8-4-2)
  • April 27 Derby Trial (20-8-4-2)
  • May 4 Kentucky Derby (200-80-40-20), the official online wagering site of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, is the first presenting sponsor for Road to the Roses online game. A version of the game was first launched in 1999.

“We’re excited to offer fans the opportunity to play our 2013 version of Road to the Roses Presented by, and hope our Kentucky Derby online fantasy game will add excitement and fun for its players in the weeks leading up to Kentucky Derby 139,” said Churchill Downs General Manager Ryan Jordan. “We believe this free fantasy game, structured along the lines of the new ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ points system for Derby eligibility, will intrigue both veteran players, who relish the challenge of building strong and competitive stables, and newcomers, who will enjoy a game format that is somewhat simpler than in previous years.”    

As in past years, there is a tie-breaking system in place should “Road to the Roses” end with a logjam at the top of the standings. Players will be required to submit their estimate on the official running time of Kentucky Derby 139 to the hundredth of a second without going over the official time. For instance, last year’s winning time for Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another was 2:01.83.

The registration period for “Road to the Roses” opens at noon (all times Eastern) on Friday, March 22 and is scheduled to conclude at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. Players will sign-up online at, the official event web site of the Kentucky Derby. Participating players will be required to provide an e-mail address and a username at time of registration.

No changes or additions to stable rosters will be permitted during the six weeks of the “Road to the Roses” competition.   

Player standings will be updated at on the day after all game-affecting races. 

Along with the two tickets to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, the grand prize package includes round-trip coach air transportation for the winner and a guest (or a $500 betting voucher if the winner resides within a 200-mile radius of Churchill Downs), hotel accommodations for two for three nights, a VIP backstretch tour on Kentucky Oaks morning, a visit to the paddock on Derby Day, a $500 wagering voucher, a $500 credit to, a limited edition gold leaf Kentucky Derby glass, a Kentucky Derby jacket and an official Kentucky Derby commemorative print. 

Prize packages for the runner-up and third-place finisher include credit or cash, credit to and other official Kentucky Derby items. The fourth-through-25th finishers will receive the limited edition gold leaf Kentucky Derby 139 glass.

More than 24,000 stables participated in last year’s “Road to the Roses” Kentucky Derby online fantasy game.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at


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