November 28, 2021

Cezanne, King Guillermo, Swiss Skydiver among 22 late Triple Crown nominees

With more time to prepare for the pandemic-delayed Triple Crown races, 22 additional horses were nominated to the series as of Wednesday’s deadline.

The most accomplished are Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner King Guillermo, runner-up to now-retired Nadal in the second Arkansas Derby (G1) division, and the filly Swiss Skydiver, the top scorer so far on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard who runs in Saturday’s Santa Anita Oaks (G2). Shooters Shoot makes his belated stakes debut in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Also entered at Santa Anita Saturday, in a maiden race, is $3.65 million juvenile purchase Cezanne, one of three unraced prospects added for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Other late nominees include Pneumatic, third to Maxfield in the Matt Winn (G3); Mystic Guide, scratched from the Matt Winn in favor of a Thursday allowance at Belmont where he placed second; Best Pal (G2) winner Collusion Illusion; Lebda, successful in Laurel’s Private Terms and Miracle Wood; and Winning Impression, fourth in Charlatan’s Arkansas Derby division.

They join the 347 early nominees who were made eligible for $600 apiece by Jan. 25. The latecomers had to pay $3,000.

Here is the list of late Triple Crown nominees (with owner and trainer):

  • Alex Joon (Zayat Stables LLC via “Receiver”) (Steve Asmussen)
  • American Piper (Long Valley Stables LLC) (Rick Buckley)
  • Bear Alley (West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables) (Dale Romans)
  • Casino Grande (Calumet Farm) (Christophe Clement)
  • Cezanne (Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and St. Elias Stable) (Bob Baffert)
  • Collusion Illusion (Dan Agnew, Rodney Orr, Jerry Schneider and John Xitco) (Mark Glatt)
  • Edge of Fire (Chiefswood Stables Limited) (Jimmy Jerkens)
  • Established (Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC and Mt. Brilliant Farm LLC) (Mike Stidham)
  • High Cruise (Calumet Farm) (Jack Sisterson)
  • Hunt the Front (Dream Walkin Farm Inc.) (Nick Zito)
  • King Guillermo (Victoria’s Ranch) (Juan Avila)
  • Lebda (Euro Stable) (Claudio Gonzalez)
  • Mystic Guide (Godolphin LLC) (Mike Stidham)
  • Pneumatic (Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC) (Steve Asmussen)
  • Shooters Shoot (Exline-Border Racing, ERJ Racing and Dan Hudock) (Peter Eurton)
  • Superfecto (Irv Cowen) (Ralph Nicks)
  • Swiss Skydiver (Peter J. Callahan) (Kenny McPeek)
  • Uncle Chuck (Karl Watson, Michael E. Pegram and Paul Weitman) (Bob Baffert)
  • Well Connected (Michael Dubb and David Simon) (Mike Maker)
  • Winners Laugh (Barry Schwartz) (Linda Rice)
  • Winning Impression (West Point Thoroughbreds and Pearl Racing) (Dallas Stewart)
  • Winning Moment (Gary and Mary West) (Bob Baffert)

The 2020 Triple Crown opens with the June 20 Belmont S. (G1), shortened to 1 1/8 miles in light of its role as first in the series. The two ensuing jewels have also switched their order while remaining at their usual distance. The 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby (G1) comes next on Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs, and the 1 3/16-mile Preakness (G1) concludes the Triple Crown on Oct. 3 at Pimlico.