Churchill Downs’ “Road to the Roses” Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge presented by WinStar Farm has returned. The free online contest that allows racing fans to manage a stable of Kentucky Derby contenders during the three-month buildup to the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) is now open for registration.
Located at www.RoadToTheRoses.com, the game’s grand prize winner will receive a VIP trip for two to the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2012, which has an estimated retail value of $5,000.
“Road to the Roses” players earn points based on how well their fantasy stable performs in a series of Kentucky Derby prep races, beginning with the Fountain of Youth (gr. II), Hutcheson (gr. II), and Borderland Derby Feb. 26, and continuing through the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 7.
Each player can create up to three fantasy stables by selecting 10 horses from the complete list of Triple Crown nominees, as well as two trainers and two jockeys. All horses in the stable will remain active and eligible to earn points throughout the duration of the game. Participants also will be able to designate five “power” horses which will earn double points if they finish first, second, or third in prep races. Players may change their designated “power” horses to maximize scoring opportunities as many times as they wish, except on scoring race days.
In addition, stables have the ability to add five additional Triple Crown nominated horses later in the season: three more horses starting March 21 and two others April 18. In years past, there were brief supplemental draft periods, but now participants can add the extra horses to their stable through April 30.
The player who earns the most points at the end of the “Road to the Roses” Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge presented by WinStar Farm will receive a VIP trip for two to the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, including airfare and accommodations, a VIP tour of WinStar Farm on Thursday of Derby Week, a private backstretch tour on Kentucky Oaks Day, a trip to the paddock on Kentucky Derby Day, a $1,000 betting voucher, a limited edition gold-leafed Kentucky Derby mint julep glass, a Kentucky Derby jacket and official Kentucky Derby print.
Prizes will be awarded to the top 25 finishers, plus Stage 1 (through March 21), Stage 2 (through April 18), and weekly winners.
A popular returning element is the ability to create your own league to compete against friends and co-workers. Theoretically, if a stable is far removed from first place in the overall standings, they could still be in the hunt for top honors and bragging rights within their own league. A private, league-only chat room has been added to the mix for “trash-talking.”
Also, Brisnet.com and its roster of horse racing experts once again will host weekly online question-and-answer “Derby Chat” sessions every Friday between 7-9 p.m. ET to discuss the prospects of the most promising 3-year-old Thoroughbreds on “The Road to the Roses.”
For more information, official rules, and a complete list of prizes for the “Road to the Roses” Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge presented by WinStar Farm, visit the Web site RoadToTheRoses.com or the game’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RoadToTheRoses.