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Blue Grass attracts 191 nominees
The 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass has attracted an all-star list of 191 nominees, Keeneland announced Thursday. Scheduled for April 12, the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass is one of the country's premier three-year-old preps, offering 100 points to the winner on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
This year's nomination list includes 22 of the current top 25 point earners on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. Among the 191 nominees (in order of most points on the Road to the Derby) are undefeated Samraat (winner of the Withers and Gotham), Intense Holiday (Risen Star), Wildcat Red (Fountain of Youth), Tapiture (Kentucky Jockey Club and Southwest), Vicar's in Trouble (Lecomte), Cairo Prince (Nashua and Holy Bull), Tamarando (El Camino Real Derby) and Candy Boy (Robert B. Lewis). Also nominated is reigning juvenile champion Shared Belief.
A complete list of the nominees and their past performances, statistics and a history of the race can be found at Keeneland's special Blue Grass microsite. A late nomination period for the Blue Grass closes March 26.
"The depth and quality of this year's Toyota Blue Grass nominations is extraordinary; it is a 'who's who' of today's Derby hopefuls," Keeneland Vice President of Racing W.B. Rogers Beasley said. "We thank our horsemen for their strong support of our racing program."
Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher nominated 27 three-year-olds to lead all trainers. Hall of Fame trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert are represented by 11 and 10 nominees, respectively.
FOX Sports 1 will provide live coverage of the Blue Grass from 4:30-6 p.m. (EDT) as part of The Jockey Club Racing Tour.
Blue Grass Day will feature a strong undercard, highlighted by four other graded stakes -- the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, Grade 1 Madison, Grade 3 Commonwealth and Grade 3 Shakertown. Post time for the first race is 12:30 p.m.
Last year, Charles Fipke's homebred Java's War overcame a slow start to catch eventual Belmont winner Palace Malice in the final yards to win the Blue Grass by a neck before a crowd of 37,161, the second largest in track history. Click here for the video.