John C. Oxley’s Flameaway, the winner of Tampa Bay Downs’ Sam F. Davis (Grade III), leads a group of 10 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that were made eligible to compete in the 2018 Triple Crown with a late $6,000 payment that was due Monday.
With 10 late nominees during the Jan. 21-March 19 late nomination phase (pending late mail), there are now 370 horses eligible to participate in the Triple Crown’s three race series: the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I), the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI), and the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (GI). The early nomination total was 360 at $600 per horse.
The late Triple Crown nominees (with trainer) are Kaleem Shah Inc.’s All Out Blitz (Simon Callaghan); Steve Keh, CTR Stable LLC, R 3 Racing and Calara Farms’ Arawak (Doug O’Neill); Say Jay Racing and Greg Hall’s Blended Citizen (O’Neill); Oxley’s Determinant (Mark Casse); Oxley’s Flameaway (Casse); Godolphin’s Gold Town (GB) (Charlie Appleby); Ronald M. Lamarque and Louie Roussel III’s Making a Marc (Roussel); Daniel McConnell’s Prince Lucky (Todd Pletcher); Joe R. Peacock’s Runaway Ghost (Todd Fincher); and Miss Avni Kapoor, Mr. Charnesh Kapoor and Mr. Nirav Kapoor’s Yulong Warrior (Satish Seemar).
Flameaway, who began the week at No. 10 on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” leaderboard that will determine the preference list for America’s greatest race, is versatile with victories on dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces. He most recently finished second behind Quip in the March 10 Tampa Bay Derby (GII) and is targeting the April 7 Blue Grass (GII) at Keeneland.
Gold Town (GB), who romped by 10 ½ lengths in the Feb. 15 UAE Guineas, and Yulong Warrior, an 11 ½-length victor in the March 10 Al Bastakiya, are expected to meet in the $2 million UAE Derby (GII) at Meydan Racecourse on March 31.
Blended Citizen and Arawak finished first and third, respectively in Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) at Turfway Park and the latter was relocated to O’Neill’s barn after the race after previously being trained by Wesley Ward.
Runaway Ghost, runner-up in the Feb. 25 Mine That Bird, is expected to enter Sunday’s Sunland Derby (GIII) along with Pennsylvania-bred Prince Lucky, who was recently transferred from trainer Larry Jones to Todd Pletcher.
All Out Blitz, the runner-up finisher in the Jan. 6 Sham (GIII) and third-place finisher in the Feb. 10 San Vicente (GII), is in training at Santa Anita.
Determinant broke his maiden March 10 with a 1 ¾-length triumph over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Making a Marc is entered in a two-turn maiden special weight at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
The 2018 Triple Crown series opens Saturday, May 5 with the 144th running of the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The 143rd Preakness, the 1 3/16-mile second jewel, is set for Saturday, May 19 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, its 1 ½-mile final leg, is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Three-year-olds that were not nominated to the Triple Crown during either the early or late nomination phases have a final opportunity to become eligible for the races through payment of a supplemental nomination fee due at the time of each race’s entry: the Kentucky Derby ($200,000), Preakness Stakes ($150,000) and Belmont Stakes ($50,000). Supplemental nominees for the Kentucky Derby are treated the same as original nominees. If one or more supplemental nominees possess sufficient “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points to qualify for the Derby field, they will be allowed to start over original nominees that possess lesser qualifications.