Presidents’ Day weekend features four scoring races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, chief among them Saturday’s $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds. The Risen Star is the first race of the Kentucky Derby “Championship Season” offering more points as the trail gets tougher. Worth 50 points to the winner, the Risen Star awards 20 points to the runner-up, 10 to third, and 5 points to the fourth-placer. FREE Risen Star PPs courtesy of Brisnet The other two U.S. scoring races this weekend conclude the “Prep Season” with the familiar 10-4-2-1 points structure – Saturday’s $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields and Monday’s $500,000 Southwest S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park. FREE El Camino Real Derby PPs courtesy of Brisnet FREE Southwest PPs courtesy of Brisnet The remaining points contest takes place in Tokyo Sunday, the Hyacinth S., as the third of four races on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. Here are five things to know about the Derby preps over Presidents’ Day weekend: 1. Risen Star favorite War of Will faces a potentially challenging scenario. The impressive winner of Fair Grounds’ first stepping stone, the January 19 Lecomte (G3), War of Will has accordingly been installed as the 5-2 favorite. The well-regarded Mark Casse trainee has looked superb ever since switching from turf, taking his two dirt starts by a combined total of nine lengths. But the Risen Star sets up differently. War of Will figures to cover extra ground from post 14, and in conjunction with a possibly more honest pace, his trip might not be as favorable. Conversely, a couple of his beaten rivals from the Lecomte are eligible to get better trips this time. That holds true especially for Plus Que Parfait, the fast-finishing Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) runner-up who’s more talented than his trouble-marred fifth in the Lecomte implies. A similar case could be made for Roiland, a slow-starting fifth in the Jockey Club and seventh in the Lecomte. 2. The Risen Star field is deeper than the Lecomte. If War of Will still has the measure of his Lecomte foes regardless of circumstances, he’ll have to defeat several new rivals. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott dispatches Country House off his sensational maiden score at Gulfstream Park, where he rallied from a terrible start to win in a romp. Mr. Money, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), got sick right before his intended reappearance in the Lecomte but just fired a bullet in readiness. Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen is double-handed with Limonite, a close third in the Jockey Club, and Gun It, the $2.6 million Tapit colt out of a half to Saint Liam and a “cousin” of Gun Runner. Gun It, third to the promising Owendale and Frolic More in a local allowance, was originally the also-eligible but drew in after the scratch of Kingly (see point 3 below). Mike Maker likewise fields two entrants in smart turf performer Henley’s Joy, who takes a page from War of Will’s playbook in trying dirt, and Dunph, most recently third in the Springboard Mile. 3. The El Camino Real Derby tests the aspirations of Bob Baffert’s shipper Kingly and local hero Anothertwistafate. Kingly was rerouted to Golden Gate after drawing post 13 in the Risen Star. Although he found a relatively less intimidating spot, the full brother to Mohaymen needs to take another step forward while coping with a synthetic surface for the first time. His debut maiden win at Del Mar, and second to Extra Hope in a Santa Anita allowance, suggest more scrappiness than brilliance, but he’s still learning. In contrast, Anothertwistafate has looked like a budding star in a pair of wire jobs on Golden Gate’s Tapeta. And he has a pedigree to match, as a $360,000 son of Scat Daddy from a solid Juddmonte family. If the Blaine Wright trainee can hurl back the Southern California invasion, he’ll enhance his stature as a Derby hopeful. Aside from Kingly, other Santa Anita shippers include Eagle Song, proven on synthetic in Ireland and likely to relish the stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles; turf aficionado King of Speed, who should be happier here than when last on dirt in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1); and More Ice, going turf-to-synthetic for Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer. 4. The Hyacinth has implications both for the Japan Road and the UAE Derby (G2). Scheduled to go off Saturday night at 12:25 a.m. (EST), the metric mile event pits the respective second and third on the Japan leaderboard in Make Happy and Derma Louvre. Both are looking to bounce back from a loss in the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki, where Derma Louvre was an unlucky near-misser and Make Happy was a lackluster fourth. The change of venue to Tokyo will suit Cal-bred filly Make Happy, two-for-two over course and distance including a romp in the Cattleya Sho. Triple Crown-nominated Derma Louvre also boasts a local win, as part of his prior three-race streak, and a big effort here may propel him to the March 30 UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night. Fellow Triple Crown nominee Master Fencer, two-for-two since switching to dirt, is another with Dubai interest. The undefeated duo of Weitblick and Oval Ace are also worth watching, despite the fact they’re not nominated to the UAE Derby or the Triple Crown. 5. The Southwest is a rematch of the Smarty Jones – and much more. Six of the 11 entered in the Southwest are renewing rivalry from Oaklawn’s first prep, the Smarty Jones. Front-running Gray Attempt spearheaded the “Smarty” superfecta in a blanket finish over Long Range Toddy, Boldor, and Six Shooter, while beaten favorite Bankit didn’t factor in sixth, and Souper Steed threw in a clunker in seventh. As that synopsis suggests, it might not be the strongest form in the world. Maybe that’s why Asmussen is pitching a total of five in the mix, with Jersey Agenda and Ninth Street joining Long Range Toddy, Boldor, and Bankit (who picks up Jose Ortiz). Jersey Agenda has won both his dirt starts with a forward yet pleasingly tractable style, and it could be significant that Ricardo Santana Jr. is aboard the recent Oaklawn allowance winner. Baffert is missing, but there is a Santa Anita invader in Keith Desormeaux’s Sueno, runner-up in the Sham (G3). Gulfstream flavor comes courtesy of Todd Pletcher’s Cutting Humor, second to well-regarded Bourbon War last out, and Mark Casse’s off-the-turf maiden romper Olympic Runner. Good luck and happy Presidents’ Day! War of Will photo (c) Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.