Anne M. Eberhardt

Early Triple Crown Nomination Deadline Looms

Jan. 21 is deadline to nominate for early fee of $600.

The nomination process for the 2012 Triple Crown series has begun, with a deadline of Saturday, Jan. 21 to nominate 3-year-olds at the early nomination fee of $600 per horse.

Horses must be nominated to compete in the three classics, all grade I stakes:
--138th running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands at 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, May 5;
-- 137th running of the $1 million Preakness, which will be run at 1 3/16 miles at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, May 19;
--144th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles at New York’s Belmont Park on Saturday, June 9.

A late nomination period that requires payment of a $6,000 nomination fee opens at 12 a.m. (all times Eastern) Sunday, Jan. 22 and will run through Saturday, March 24.   

All nominations made by traditional mail during the early nomination phase must be postmarked with the Jan. 21 date. Triple Crown nominations can also be made online at, 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 Jan. 21.

The Kentucky Derby field has been limited to 20 starters since 1975, and accumulated earnings in graded stakes races along the “Road to the Triple Crown” have determined the field for the race since 1986. The field for the Preakness is limited to 14 starters, while the Belmont Stakes permits a maximum field of 16 horses.

All three 2012 Triple Crown races will be televised live by NBC Sports and radio coveregae of all three races will be provided by the Horse Racing Radio Network.