Ten horses were nominated to the 2002 Visa Triple Crown by the late deadline, which closed Saturday, March 30 at midnight. The 10 additions, each at a cost of $6,000, increased the number of nominations to a total of 415.
The early deadline to make horses eligible to the May 4 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), May 18 Preakness (gr. I), and June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) was Jan. 19. Nominated horses by the first deadline paid $600. VISA will pay a $5 million bonus to a horse that sweeps all three races. No horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
The most prominent names of the new nominees are the Bobby Frankel-trained and Edmund Gann-owned Medaglia d'Oro, winner of the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II); Buddha, owned by Gary West and trained by H. James Bond, who is coming off a 9 1/2-length romp in a Gulfstream allowance race; and Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) and Silverbulletday Stakes and trained by Kenny McPeek.
The remaining late nominees are Jam Jar Racing Stable's Tails of the Crypt, trained by John Ross, who is coming off a second in the Tampa Bay Derby; two Nick Zito-trained colts, Straight Gin, owned by Marylou Whitney, and American Style, owned by Buckram Oak Farm; the Bill Mott-trained Laissezaller, a European import owned by Diane Snowden, and Yankee Gentleman, an 11-length maiden winner owned by Martin and Pam Wygod; Darwin Olson's It'sallinthechase, third in the Louisiana Derby for trainer Wilson Brown; and Joey and Wendy Platts' Lusty Latin, trained by Jeff Mullins, who was third in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) and is scheduled to run in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Medaglia d'Oro and Buddha are expected to meet in the April 13 Wood Memorial (gr. I). Take Charge Lady, who is being pointed for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) this weekend at Keeneland, was nominated only as a back-up for the stable's main Triple Crown hopeful, Repent.