360 horses eligible for US Triple Crown series
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP):
Good Magic, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and last year's 2-year-old champion, is among 360 3-year-old thoroughbreds made eligible during the early nomination period to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes.
Other top horses are: once-beaten Bolt d'Oro, BC Juvenile runner-up Solomini, undefeated McKinzie and BC Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn.
Four fillies and 19 horses based outside North America, including 13 from Europe, also are among the early nominees for the Triple Crown series that opens with the Kentucky Derby on May 5. The Preakness is May 18 and the Belmont is June 9.
This year's early nominations are down from last year's total of 419 horses. Another six horses were made eligible during the late nomination period to raise last year's total to 425.
It costs owners and trainers $600 to nominate each horse during the early period, which ended January 20. The late period, requiring a payment of $6,000, is under way and ends March 19.
Todd Pletcher led all trainers with 37 horses nominated. Bob Baffert was second with 32. Irishman Aidan O'Brien led international trainers with six horses.
Zayat Stables led all owners with 12 horses nominated, one more than WinStar Farm.
Since American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, each Triple Crown race has had a different winner.