During it's creation, the new system was broken up into two series and feature the total of 36 Graded Stakes races. When the series begins, it's first known as the "Kentucky Derby Prep Season" and it actually consists of 19 events. These events begin in September 2012. The prep-season takes place from that point up through the early stages of the three year old season. Once this happens, the points increase and the Road to the Kentucky Derby then changes into the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series".
Kentucky Derby Prep Season
The prep season is set to take place between September 2012 and February 2013. It consists of 19 races and the winners of these races quality for the starting gate in any of the Major Kentucky Derby Preps. On a scale of 10-4-2-1 the top 4 finishers are awarded their points.
Kentucky Derby Championship Series
This series is divided into three phases, the first leg, the second leg, and the wild card. These three consist of 17 total races split between each other. The first leg consists of only 8 Graded Stakes Races. These are typically the final race before a Major Kentucky Derby Prep. Occasionally, a win here will actually make it the final stop, but only if the qualification has been received. The points here are awarded on a scale of 50-20-10-5 and go to the top 4 who placed.
Next up, the Second Leg is actually comprised of a total of seven Graded Stakes races and take place right before the Kentucky Derby. According to the old format, the purse for these races were the highest amounts in the entire Kentucky Derby Prep setup. This being said, they were typically "Win and You're in" races, so they hold great value. Now-a-days, this still stands true because the points awarded are on the 100-40-20-10 scale, so a win during one of these Major Preps typically secures an entry into the Kentucky Derby.
At this point, the top twenty point earners will have received their places in the Kentucky Derby according to the classic system. This being said, with the new system that's being implemented, 24 horses will be eligible to enter the race, but horses in positions 21 through 24 won't be able to participate and enter the starting gate unless any of the other top 20 horses scratch before race day. If somehow there is a tie, the tie-breaker is decided by the earnings in non-restricted stakes races. Keep in mind that some of those didn't necessarily have to be Graded Stakes.