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2007 Triple Crown Nominations

On Sunday, February 4th, the list of early nominations for the 2007 Triple Crown was released by Triple Crown Productions. A record number of 450 three-year-olds were nominated, including the two juvenile winners from last year's Breeders' Cup who also won their respective Eclipse Awards, Street Sense and the filly Dreaming of Anna. The previous record, set in 2003, was 446. Of the 450, there are 418 colts, 27 geldings, and 5 fillies. Nominations during the early period, which closed on January 20, cost $600 and make the horses eligible for all three Triple Crown races.

Edward P. Seigenfeld, executive vice president of Triple Crown Productions said, "We are highly impressed at the remarkable response we have received once again for racing's Triple Crown. Each year we are hopeful of widespread participation and we continue to be rewarded with an amazing amount of enthusiasm from horsemen the world over. Our Triple Crown racetracks are immensely grateful for the participation in this greatest of all athletic tests. As the Road to the Triple Crown unfolds, we wish the best of luck and safe racing to all those connected to these wonderful 3-year-old equine athletes."

Of the 450 nominees this year, 16 of them are owned by Zayat Stable either solely or with partners, which tops Mrs. John Magnier's 12 and Michael Tabor's 9. Anthony Sciametta leads all trainers with 26 nominees following by 18 for Nick Zito, 17 for Bob Baffert, and 13 each for D. Wayne Lukas and Steve Asmussen. It is important to note that Sciametta is an assistant of Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher who is currently serving a suspension and thus was not the trainer of record when horses normally under his care were nominated. Pletcher's California string is currently under the care of Michael McCarthy who had 6 nominations, which means Pletcher effectively has 32 nominations and it is assumed that all those horses will return to his guardianship once his suspension has been served. Zito leads all Hall of Fame trainers with his 18 followed by fellow inductee Lukas' 13 and Richard Mandella's 11. There are 27 foreign-trained horses, which dwarfs the 15 nominated last year. These were led by 9 from the barn of Irish-based Aidan O'Brien, 7 trained by Dermot Weld, and 3 by Saeed bin Suroor.

Among the American-breds, Kentucky-foaled horses dominate with 306 nominations, followed by Florida's 58, California's 16, and New York's 12. 31 nominees were bred outside the United Stakes, led by 12 Irish breds and 11 Canadian-breds. As usual, the majority of the nominated horses are bays, with 175, with 133 dark bay or brown horses and 100 chestnuts. Only 41 greys were nominated and just 1 officially registered black horse. A.P. Indy and Fusaichi Pegasus lead all sires with 12 nominations each, 1 more than the eleven sired by Storm Cat. 10 were sired by Tiznow, and 9 each were sired by Giant's Causeway, Officer, and Unbridled's Song.

The Triple Crown kicks off with the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 5, over a distance of 1 1/4 miles. The series continues two weeks later at Pimlico in Baltimore for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at 1 3/16 miles on May 19, followed by the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at 1 1/2 miles on June 9 at Belmont Park in New York. The three-race parlay is considered one of the most difficult feats in sports, having only been attained 11 times, the last being Affirmed in 1978.

Horses can still be nominated by March 31 during the late nomination period, but the fee is raised from $600 to $6000. After March 31 horses would have to be supplemented when entries are taken at a cost of $200,000 for the Kentucky Derby, which would also include the Preakness and Belmont, or $100,000 for the Preakness and Belmont, or $100,000 for the Belmont only. All horses nominated by March 31 get priority over supplemental entries if a race is oversubscribed.



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