The Road to the Kentucky Derby every year starts in three different places around the Globe. In recent years both Japan and Europe have had their own set of races to help determine who should represent those continents in the Run for the Roses but the American leg is still the most well-known and most keenly fought over.
Each race in the Prep Schedule has qualifying points awarded to the top four positions. The winner of both the Japanese and European legs get offered a spot in the starting gate and if they turn it down, the second placed horse gets the opportunity all the way down to the fourth place horse. If none of the top four in either road want to race at Churchill Downs then an extra spot is granted on the US side.
Speaking of the American side, the top 18 horses who are Triple Crown nominated in the final points standings will be awarded a spot at the biggest Horse Race in the United States. Just like with the Japanese and European roads, any horse choosing not to run who see an extra spot granted to the next eligible qualifier.