A total of 366 horses (pending late mail) have now been nominated to the 2019 Triple Crown trail following the late nomination of Hoffa’s Union, Grumps Little Tots, Joevia and Spun to Run. The quartet were made eligible to compete in the three legs of the Triple Crown with a late $6,000 payment that was due Monday.
The Triple Crown is comprised of the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 3 at Churchill Downs, Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on May 18 and Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 8. The early nominees totaled 362 at $600 per horse followed by a late nomination period that ran from January 27 through April 1.
Hoffa’s Union broke his maiden debut by 15 1/2 lengths on February 28 at Laurel Park and was recently privately purchased by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Christopher Dunn, Rose Petal Stable and Foard Wilgis. The gelded bay son of Union Rags made his initial outing under the tutelage of trainer Gary Capuano and has been entered in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on Saturday.
Two of the three other late Triple Crown nominees are also entered in the Wood Memorial – Grumps Little Tots, who broke his maiden by 6 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct on February 18, and Joevia, runner-up in both the March 16 Private Term Stakes at Laurel Park and February 9 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct this season.
The final late nominee is Spun to Run, a 7 1/4-length first-level allowance victor on March 23 at Parx Racing.
Three-year-olds 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 each race’s entry: the Kentucky Derby ($200,000), Preakness Stakes ($150,000) and Belmont Stakes ($50,000).
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.