Churchill Downs adds 2 California preps to series deciding fields for Kentucky Derby and Oaks

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — The series that decides which 20 horses qualify to run in the Kentucky Derby is adding a new qualifier.

Churchill Downs announced Wednesday that the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity to be run on Dec. 20 will award qualifying points.

The 1 1/16-mile race was run under different names at the now-closed Betfair Hollywood Park in California from 1981-2013. It produced six Kentucky Derby winners.

The Grade 1 race will be contested for the first time at Los Alamitos Race Course this winter. Points awarded to the top four finishers will be in a 10-4-2-1 format as part of the prep season between September and mid-February.

A similar series qualifies fillies for the Kentucky Oaks that is run the day before the Derby. The 31-race series is adding the $350,000 Starlet, a 1 1/16-mile Grade 1 race set for Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos. It had been previously run at Hollywood Park.

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