A total of 312 3-year-old Thoroughbreds were made eligible to compete in this year’s Triple Crown series when the early nomination phase closed on Jan. 29.
Each of the horses from the 2019 foal crop was nominated through a $600 payment to compete in any of the Triple Crown races: the 148th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby on May 7 at Churchill Downs, the 147th running of the $1.5 million Preakness on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course and the 154th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 11 at Belmont Park.
The number of early nominations slipped 4.3 percent, or 14 horses, from last year’s total of 326.
The group is led by Grade 1 winners Corniche (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and American Pharoah), Echo Zulu (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Frizette and Spinaway), Jack Christopher (Champagne), Pinehurst (Del Mar Futurity) and Rattle N Roll (Breeders’ Futurity).
Echo Zulu is one of six fillies who were made eligible.
The nominees also include a record 21 horses based in Japan along with two based in Europe and one from Dubai.
Todd Pletcher led all trainers with 42 horses nominated to the Triple Crown, followed by Brad Cox (26), Chad Brown (23), Steve Asmussen (20) and Bob Baffert (18). The latter is suspended by Churchill Downs Inc. from competing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.
Anthony Manganaro’s Siena Farm is involved in partnerships with 24 horses – 12 with SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine M. Donovan, Golconda Stable and Stonestreet Stables conglomerate and another dozen in partnership with WinStar Farm and others – to lead all owners.
Gun Runner led all sires with 16 Triple Crown nominations, followed by Into Mischief (14), Quality Road (12) and Tapit (11).
There are 250 Kentucky-breds, which represents 80.1 percent of the nominees. Other states and countries represented are Japan (17), New York (14), Florida (13), Pennsylvania (4), California (3), Canada (3), Ireland (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (2) and Illinois (1).
Horses not nominated during the early phase can be made eligible online at www.TheTripleCrown.com with a $6,000 late payment due by March 28. There were nine late nominations last year.
Any horse not nominated during the early or late nomination phases can become eligible through a supplemental nomination payment due at the time of entry: Kentucky Derby ($200,000), Preakness ($150,000) and Belmont ($50,000).
Thirteen horses have swept the Triple Crown series: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).
Early Triple Crown nominations at a glance
Earnings: Echo Zulu ($1,480,000), Corniche ($1,262,000), Tiz the Bomb ($620,341), Pappacap ($596,000), Newgrange ($552,000), Sekifu (JPN) ($445,881), Octane ($410,000), Dakota Gold ($385,000), Rattle N Roll ($379,460), Senbei ($364,857), Mackinnon ($333,860), Jack Christopher ($330,000), Pinehurst ($312,000), Make It Big ($303,828), Barber Road ($300,720), Kavod ($293,000), Messier ($285,600), Secret Oath ($285,167), Smile Happy ($284,810), Shipsational ($278,750) and Wit ($252,000)
Grade 1 winners: Corniche (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and American Pharoah), Echo Zulu (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Frizette and Spinaway), Jack Christopher (Champagne), Pinehurst (Del Mar Futurity) and Rattle N Roll (Breeders’ Futurity)
Grade 2 winners: Forbidden Kingdom (San Vicente), High Oak (Saratoga Special), Mo Donegal (Remsen), Nest (Demoiselle), Pappacap (Best Pal), Slow Down Andy (Los Alamitos Futurity), Smile Happy (Kentucky Jockey Club) and Tiz the Bomb (Bourbon)
Grade 3 winners: Call Me Midnight (Lecomte), Early Voting (Withers), God of Love (Grey), Grand Sonata (Kitten’s Joy), Major General (Iroquois), Messier (Bob Hope and Robert B. Lewis), My Prankster (Swale), Newgrange (Southwest and Sham), Rockefeller (Nashua), Verbal (Cecil B. DeMille), White Abarrio (Holy Bull) and Wit (Sanford)
Trainers: Todd Pletcher (42), Brad Cox (26), Chad Brown (23), Steve Asmussen (20), Bob Baffert (18), Mark Casse (12), Saffie Joseph Jr. (8), Bill Mott (8), Richard Mandella (6), Graham Motion (6), Wayne Lukas (5), Kenny McPeek (5) and Dale Romans (5)
Owners: Siena Farm (24), Madaket Stables (16), SF Racing (13), WinStar Farm (13), Catherine M. Donovan (12), Golconda Stable (12), Robert E. Masterson (12), Jay A. Schoenfarber (12), Starlight Racing (12), Waves Edge Capital (12), Repole Stable (10), Klaravich Stables Inc. (9), Stonestreet Stables (9), Winchell Thoroughbreds (8), St. Elias Stable (8), Calumet Farm (7), West Point Thoroughbreds (6), Peter Brant/White Birch Farm (5), Albaugh Family Stables (4), Gary Barber (4), Reeves Thoroughbred Racing (4), Gary and Mary West (4), Peachtree Stable (4) and Three Diamonds Farm (4)
Breeders: Calumet Farm (7), Don Alberto Corporation (6), Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc. (6), Three Chimneys Farm LLC (6), WinStar Farm LLC (6), Spendthrift Farm (5), Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (4), International Equities Holding Inc. (4), Brereton C. Jones (4), Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (4) and Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (4)
Sex: Colts (286), geldings (19), fillies (6) and ridglings (1)
Fillies: Cairo Memories, Echo Zulu, Miss Everything, Miss Mattie B, Nest and Secret Oath
Sire: Gun Runner (16), Into Mischief (14), Quality Road (12), Tapit (11), Arrogate (9), Curlin (9), Nyquist (9), Uncle Mo (9), Street Sense (8), Classic Empire (7), Medaglia d’Oro (7), Speightstown (6), American Pharoah (5), Cairo Prince (5), Constitution (5), Hard Spun (5), Malibu Moon (5), Mastery (5), More Than Ready (5), Not This Time (5), Pioneerof the Nile (5) and Practical Joke (5)
State-bred: Kentucky (250), New York (14), Florida (13), Pennsylvania (4), California (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (2) and Illinois (1)
Foreign-bred: Japan (17), Canada (3) and Ireland (3)
Color: Bay (129), dark bay or brown (94), chestnut (60) and gray or roan (29)
Based in Dubai: Island Falcon (IRE)
Based in Europe: Absolute Ruler and Enthrallment (IRE)
Based in Japan: Blitz Fang (JPN), Café Karma (JPN), Consigliere (JPN), Copano Nicholson (JPN), Crown Pride (JPN), Depasser (JPN), El Paso (JPN), Geraldo Barows (JPN), Hana Kiri, Ho O Roulette (JPN), Jasper Great, Ju Taro, Line of Soul (JPN), Mr White (JPN), Osteria (JPN), Pink Dia, Reiwa Homare (JPN), Sekifu (JPN), Seventh Letter (JPN), Space the Ripper (JPN) and Success Laurel (JPN)
Churchill Downs News Release
Photo: Triple Crown Logo