John Oxley's Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and The Thoroughbred Corp.'s San Felipe (gr. II) winner Point Given head the list of 109 nominations to the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile event will be televised live on ESPN April 14 from Keeneland Race Course.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who handles Point Given, has a total of nine horses nominated, and has indicated that Stonerside Stable's homebred Congaree, who is two-for-two this year in overnight races at Santa Anita Park, is a possible starter. Trainer John T. Ward, the conditioner of Monarchos, also has two other colts nominated, including Hero's Tribute, who finished third in the grade II Louisiana Derby. Millennium Wind, trained by David Hofmans for David and Jill Heerensperger also is nominated.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who conditioned High Yield to victory in the 2000 Toyota Blue Grass and saddled War to win the event in 1987, has 11 horses nominated, and trainer Elliott Walden, who sent out Menifee to win the 1999 edition, has 12 nominees.
Also among the nominees is Gary and Mary West's grade II winner Dollar Bill, who won the Risen Star Stakes in his 3-year-old debut at Fair Grounds, where three weeks later he finished a strong fourth in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) after clipping heals and nearly falling. Elaine, Bertram and Richard Klein's Outofthebox, who finished second in both the Fountain of Youth (gr. I), and the Florida Derby will represent the barn of Bernie Flint. Invisible Ink, who finished third in the Florida Derby following three consecutive wins at Aqueduct and Gulfstream, is owned by Peachtree Stable and is among nine colts nominated from the stable of Todd Pletcher.
Other grade I winners nominated include Devil Eleven and DJ Stables' Songandaprayer, trained by John Dowd, and Celtic Pride Stable's A P Valentine, who is among three horses nominated from the stable of Nick Zito.