Godolphin’s Thunder Snow, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas Sponsored By District One Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City (G3) at Meydan Feb. 11 and last fall’s Criterium International (G1) at Saint-Cloud, heads a group of six 3-year-olds made eligible to compete in the races of the 2017 Triple Crown during the series’ late nomination phase that closed March 20.
The late nominees raised total nominations to 425—pending late mail—for the the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at Churchill Downs, the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, and the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Late nominations to the Triple Crown required a payment of $6,000. The early nomination period, during which 419 horses were made eligible for the three-race series, closed Jan. 14 and cost $600.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Thunder Snow is the most accomplished of the late nominees. His stakes triumphs—a 5 3/4-length victory in his dirt debut in the UAE 2000 Guineas and a five-length victory over soft turf at Saint-Cloud—have come in his last two starts. The son of the Australian sire Helmet is scheduled to face 15 rivals in the $2 million UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) March 25 at Meydan.
The other late nominees to the Triple Crown are:
Three-year-olds who were not nominated to the Triple Crown during either the early or late nomination phases have a final opportunity to become eligible for the races through payment of a supplemental nomination fee.
Due at the time of entry for either the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, or Belmont, the supplemental fee process makes a horse eligible for the remainder of the Triple Crown series. A supplemental nomination at the time of entry to the Kentucky Derby requires payment of $200,000. The fee is $150,000 if paid prior to the Preakness or $75,000 at time of entry to the Belmont.
Supplemental nominees for the Kentucky Derby are treated the same as original nominees. If one or more supplemental nominees possess sufficient “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points to qualify for the Derby field, they will be allowed to start over original nominees that possess lesser qualifications.