LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Undefeated Shared Belief and Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Havana lead the list of 413 early nominees for the Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds.
It's the most nominees since 2008, when 449 horses were made eligible for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes during the early nomination phase.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has a record 42 horses nominated - or 10.2 percent of the overall total - including Havana, stakes winner We Miss Artie and Commissioner, and fillies StopchargingMaria and Forward Gal. Pletcher made 32 horses eligible in 2012. He has three Triple Crown victories, including last year's Belmont with Palace Malice.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was second with 18 nominations, followed by Steve Asmussen with 13 and D. Wayne Lukas with 12.
The early nomination period, when horses can be nominated for $600 each, closed Jan. 25. The late period, when nominations cost $6,000 apiece, closes March 22. The nominations released Saturday are up from the 382 horses at the same time a year ago.
The Triple Crown begins with the May 3 Kentucky Derby, followed by the Preakness on May 17 and the Belmont on June 7.
CashCall Futurity winner Shared Belief is co-owned by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and sports talk host Jim Rome.
Besides Pletcher's two fillies, 12 other females were nominated, including Ria Antonia, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies by disqualification.
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien nominated four horses, including BC Juvenile Turf runner-up Giovanni Boldini.
Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, who share ownership of 13 nominees, had the most among owners.
Horses not nominated during the early or late nomination phases can become eligible through a supplemental fee of $200,000 for the Derby, and $150,000 for the Preakness or $75,000 for the Belmont.
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Mike DempseyMike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past success in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike each day with daily picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs or you can get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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