A total of 362 3-year-old Thoroughbreds, led by unbeaten 2-year-old champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 hero Game Winner, were made eligible to compete in this year’s Triple Crown during the early nomination phase, which closed Jan. 26.
Each of the nominees from the 2016 foal crop was made eligible through a $600 payment to compete in any of the Triple Crown contests: the 145th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby-G1 on May 4 at Churchill Downs; the 144th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes-G1 on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course; and the 151st running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes-G1 on June 8 at Belmont Park.
Of this year’s nominees, eight were Grade/Group 1 winners at 2, including Maryland-bred Knicks Go, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and an Eclipse Award finalist.
The six Maryland-bred nomineess are (listed in alphabetical order with breeding, breeder, owner and trainer):
Alwaysmining (dk.b./br.g., Stay Thirsty—What Will Be, by Anees); Avla Pitts; Runnymede Racing LLC; Kelly Rubley.
Knicks Go (gr./ro.c., Paynter—Kosmo’s Buddy, by Outflanker); Angie Moore; KRA Stud Farm; Ben Colebrook.
My Legacy (ch.c., Street Boss—Listen Boy, by After Market); Dr. and Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau; Michael Langford; Steven M. Asmussen.
Our Braintrust (dk.b./br.c., Freud—Caller Trust, by Trust N Luck); Barak Farm; Gary Barber; Mark E. Casse.
Shazier (dk.b./br.c., Cairo Prince—Toasty, by Polish Numbers); Dreamtime Stables LLC; J&G Stables LLC and Nicholas Vaccarezza; CarloVaccarezza.
Trifor Gold (b.g., Tritap—Gold Scammer, by Gold Tribute); Copper Penny Stables; breeder; Mark Shuman.