Early nominations -- at $600 per horse -- for this year's Triple Crown series, which starts with the 132nd Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, are being accepted until Saturday, Jan. 21. The other two legs of the Triple Crown are the May 20 Preakness (gr. I) at Pimlico and the June 10 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.According to an announcement Tuesday, nominations can be made through the mail, by telephone at either (800) 928-3372 or (502) 638-3810, online at The Triple Crown Challenge, or in person with representatives from Triple Crown Productions. Those representatives will be in Southern California and Florida, where the bulk of prospective Triple Crown trainees are stabled during the winter months, beginning Friday, Jan. 13.
Gathering nominations at Florida training and racing venues will be Edward P. Seigenfeld, executive vice president of Triple Crown Productions; Don Richardson, senior vice president, racing, for Churchill Downs Inc.; Lou Raffetto, chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club; Wendy Pensivy, stakes coordinator of the Maryland Jockey Club; and P.J. Campo, director of racing for New York Racing Association. Taking nominations in Southern California will be Gene Williams, media coordinator for Triple Crown Productions, and Doug Bredar, director of racing and racing secretary at Churchill Downs. A late-nomination period, when $6,000 is required to nominate to the classics, runs from Jan. 22 to March 25.