News and STORIES

Triple Crown Races Receive 347 Nominations

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Friday February 07, 2020
A total of 347 3-year-old Thoroughbreds were nominated to run in this year's Triple Crown races. The early nomination phase closed on Jan. 25, and it was led by 2-year-old champion and TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Storm the Court. 

The horses from the 2017 foal crop were made eligible through a $600 payment to compete in any of the three races: the 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) May 2 at Churchill Downs (1 1/4 miles); the 145th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) May 16 at Pimlico Race Course (1 3/16 miles); and the 152nd running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) June 6 at Belmont Park (1 1/2 miles).

Last year's total nominations were 362 during this stage, which is a decrease of 4.1 percent, or 15 horses. 

Storm the Court

Storm the Court, owned by Exile-Border Racing, David Bernsen, Susanna Wilson, and Dan Hudock, is set to make his 3-year-old debut. It will be in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (G2) over seven furlongs at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 9. 

The Kentucky-bred son of Court Vision is trained by Peter Eurton, and his record is now at 4-2-0-1 with earnings of $1,172,951 after taking the Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita at 45-1 odds. In that race, he beat fellow Triple Crown nominee Anneau d'Or.

Some of the other nominees of the Triple Crown races include Sham Stakes (G3) winner Authentic; Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (G1) winner Basin; Mucho Macho Man Stakes victor Chance It; Iroquois Stakes (G3) winner Dennis' Moment; American Pharoah Stakes (G1) winner Eight Rings; Lecomte Stakes (G3) victor Enforceable; and Sugar Bowl Stakes and Smarty Jones Stakes winner Gold Street. 

Also nominated are Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) winner Green Light Go; Bob Hope Stakes (G3) victor High Velocity; Nashua Stakes (G3) and Jerome Stakes winner Independence Hall; Pasco Stakes scorer Liam's Lucky Charm; Withers Stakes (G3) winner Max Player; Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner Maxfield; Swale Stakes (G3) scorer Mischevious Alex; Remington Springboard Mile Stakes victor Shoplifted, and Remsen Stakes (G2) winner Shotski. 

Another group of nominees includes Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) winner Silver Prospector; Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America (G1T) and Pilgrim Stakes (G3T) winner Structor; Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) winner Thousand Words; and Tiz the Law, winner of the Champagne Stakes (G1) and Holy Bull Stakes (G3).

Pletcher Leads All Trainers

Leading all trainers with 26 nominations is two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and three-time winner of the Belmont, Todd Pletcher. Next in line are Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, winner of three Triple Crown races, and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, winner of 15 classics. They have 21 and 19 nominees, respectively. 

With 13 nominations, Brad Kelley's Calumet Farm leads all owners. Godolphin leads all breeders with nine nominees. 

American Pharaoh is the leading sire with 15 offspring nominated. He took the 2015 Triple Crown, and his first foals are 3-year-olds of 2020. Uncle Mo follows with 13, then Into Mischief (12), Constitution (10), Liam's Map (10), Curlin (9), and Tapit (9).

Included in the nominations are seven fillies. Those include three-time stakes winner Finite and unbeaten Taraz, who took the Letellier Memorial at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. She also scored the Martha Washington Stakes last out at Oaklawn Park.

Thirty-five of the nominees are horses based outside of North America. There are 20 from Japan, which is 16 more than last year. The most prominent ones are Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun winner Vacation and Cattleya Sho winner Dieu du Vin. 

Eleven horses come from Ireland, six of which are from trainer Aidan O'Brien. At the top of that list is Juddmonte Royal Lodge (G2) winner Royal Dornoch.

A late nomination period will continue through March 30, and additional horses can become eligible for $6,000. If they miss that nomination, horses can also become eligible through a supplemental nomination fee due at the time of entry for each of the races.