Early nominations are being accepted from owners and trainers of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds aspiring to compete in the 2014 Triple Crown, the coveted series of American classic races that includes the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes ( all gr. I).
This year's Triple Crown events are worth a combine $5 million.
Early Triple Crown nominations opened Jan. 2 and the deadline for acceptance of early nominees is 11:59 p.m. (EST), Saturday, Jan. 25. The nomination of each horse must be accompanied by a fee of $600 to make that individual eligible to compete in the three-race series.
A late nomination period, which requires payment of $6,000 for each nominated 3-year-old, will open at 12 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 and run through Saturday, March 22.
All Triple Crown nominations made by traditional mail during the early phase must be postmarked by the Jan. 25 closing date. Nominations also can be made online at TheTripleCrown.com, or via telephone with a designated representative from one of the three Triple Crown host tracks. Online and telephone nominations must be made prior to the 11:59 p.m. deadline on Jan. 25.
The 2013 Triple Crown series attracted 369 early nominations. Thirteen horses were added during the late nomination phase, which brought total Triple Crown nominations for 2013 to 382.