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2008 Triple Crown Nominations

On Sunday, February 3rd, the list of early nominations for the 2008 Triple Crown was released by Triple Crown Productions. 449 three-year-olds were nominated, only one less than last year's record, including the Juvenile winner from last year's Breeders' Cup and the Eclipse Champion, War Pass. The filly Champion Indian Blessing was not nominated. Of the 449, there are 416 colts, 31 geldings, and 2 fillies. Nominations during the early period, which closed on January 19, 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 pleased once again with the spectacular response from horsemen from around the world. We are hopeful each year that there will be broad participation in the search for the next Triple Crown winner, and our hopes have been rewarded once again by the remarkable enthusiasm for these great moments in the sport of horse racing."

Of the 450 nominees this year, 11 of them are owned by Zayat Stable either solely or with partners with Michael Tabor next with 10. Todd Pletcher leads all trainers with 31 nominees followed by 19 for Nick Zito and 14 for Richard Mandella. There are 20 foreign-trained horses, led by 7 from the barn of Irish-based Aidan O'Brien, 5 trained by Dermot Weld, and 3 by Saeed bin Suroor.

Distorted Humor leads all sires with 13 nominees, followed by Tale of the Cat and Mineshaft with 11 each. A.P. Indy, who led the list in 4 of the last 5 years, is third with 10 nominees.

The Triple Crown kicks off with the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 3, 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 17, followed by the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at 1 1/2 miles on June 7 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 29 during the late nomination period, but the fee is raised from $600 to $6000. After March 29 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 29 get priority over supplemental entries if a race is oversubscribed. Late nominations will be announced in early April.



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