Six horses have been added to the list of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds eligible to compete in the three American classic races that make up the 2010 Triple Crown after their owners paid a required $6,000 fee during its late nomination phase that concluded Saturday, March 27.
The first of the coveted U.S. classics – the 136th running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) – will be run on May 1 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The Triple Crown will continue with the 135th renewal of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (GI) on May 15 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., and concludes with the 142nd running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (GI) on June 5 at New York’s Belmont Park.
The list of late nominations to the 2010 Triple Crown is headed by Steel Your Face Stable’s Yawanna Twist, the Gotham Stakes (GIII) runner-up who is entered to run in Saturday’s $500,000 Illinois Derby (GII) at Hawthorne. Also on the list is Raise the Bridle, who won the $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park, but was disqualified by track stewards and placed second for interfering with runner-up Storming Saint. Raise the Bridle is owned by Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerta Equine, the partnership that also owns 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. Yawanna Twist is trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., who won the 2008 Kentucky Derby with Big Brown, while Henry Dominguez trains Raise the Bridle.
The early nomination period for the three Triple Crown races, which required a payment of $600 per horse, closed Saturday, Jan. 16 and 366 3-year-olds were made eligible for the three-race series at that time. The six late nominees bring the overall nomination total to 372. The 2010 early nomination total was down from the 401 3-year-olds initially made eligible for the Triple Crown in 2009. Last year’s late nomination phase saw 11 horses added to the overall list.
The late nomination roster includes five colts and one gelding. There are now 329 colts nominated to the Triple Crown, along with 31 geldings, four ridgelings and eight fillies.
The four remaining late nominees to the 2010 Triple Crown include:
- Carnivore – A son of Giant’s Causeway who scored his first victory in three races in a March 10 maiden race at Laurel Park for owner James McIngvale and trainer Joseph Delozier III. The chestnut colt is entered in Saturday’s $750,000 Wood Memorial (GI) at Aqueduct.
- Game Ball – A homebred son of Sky Mesa owned by John C. Oxley, the owner of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, has won two of three career starts, all at Tampa Bay Downs. Game Ball, entered in Saturday’s Illinois Derby, is trained by Canadian-based trainer Mark Casse.
- Posse Power – Willow Creek Farm’s son of Posse has a 2-2-2 record in six races for trainer Frank Lucarelli, with his most recent effort being a third-place run in the El Camino Real Derby (GIII) at Golden Gate Fields. He’s entered in Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (GI).
- Thomas Baines – This son of Johannesburg, owned by AJL Productions, LLC and trained by Doug O’Neill, is coming off an allowance victory over the synthetic Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. That race followed appearances in three consecutive stakes races highlighted by a close third-place run behind Ranger Heartley and Connemara in the California Derby. He has a record of 2-0-5 in 12 career races and is entered in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby.
With the close of the late nomination period, owners have one more opportunity to make their horses eligible to the Triple Crown races. Horses can be made a supplemental entry to all three races for a fee of $200,000 paid on Wednesday, April 28, the day of entry to the Kentucky Derby, or $100,000 paid at entry time for the Preakness, which makes the horse eligible for both remaining Triple Crown races, or the Belmont Stakes.
Only 11 3-year-olds have swept all three races in the challenging Triple Crown series, with Affirmed being the most recent in 1978.