Top Sophomores Nominated to Toyota Blue Grass Stakes
Date Posted: 3/3/2004 11:06:09 AM

Almost all of the leading contenders for the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, including trainer Nick Zito's highly regarded twosome of Birdstone and Eurosilver, are among 157 nominees to Keeneland's $750,000, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds will be run on Saturday, April 10, three weeks before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It will be televised live on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET).

Birdstone and Eurosilver, winners of the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II), respectively, at two, are among seven horses nominated by Zito. He has saddled two winners of the Blue Grass-Strike the Gold in 1991 and Halory Hunter in 1998.

Joining Birdstone and Eurosilver on the list of nominees are champion 2-year-old male and Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Action This Day, Remsen Stakes (gr. II) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes, and Remsen runnerup Master David.

Bobby Frankel, who trains Master David, sent out Edmund A. Gann's Peace Rules to win last year's Blue Grass. Peace Rules went on to finish third in the Derby.

Other leading nominees are Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) winner Gradepoint, Laurel Futurity (gr. III) victor Tapit, Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) winner Lion Heart and the highly regarded Value Plus.

Value Plus is one of 26 horses nominated by trainer Todd Pletcher.

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