A total of 312 3-year-old Thoroughbreds were made eligible to compete in this year’s Triple Crown series when the early nomination phase closed Jan. 29.
Each of the horses from the 2019 foal crop was nominated through a $600 payment to compete in any of the Triple Crown races: the 148th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) May 7 at Churchill Downs (1 1/4 miles); 147th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) May 21 at Pimlico Race Course (1 3/16 miles); and 154th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) June 11 at Belmont Park (1 1/2 miles).
The number of early nominations slipped 4.3%, or 14 horses from last year’s total of 326.
Echo Zulu is one of six fillies that was made eligible.
Full List of 2022 Early Triple Crown Nominees
The nominees also include a record 21 horses based in Japan along with two based in Europe and one from Dubai.
Todd Pletcher led all trainers with 42 horses nominated to the Triple Crown and was followed by Brad Cox (26), Chad Brown (23), Steve Asmussen (20), and Bob Baffert (18). Baffert is suspended by Churchill Downs Inc. from competing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. CDI suspended him through the conclusion of Churchill Downs’ 2023 spring meet after a post-race drug test from 2021 Kentucky Derby victor Medina Spirit returned positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone, which is not allowed on race day in Kentucky.
Corniche and Pinehurst are both currently trained by Baffert. Horses conditioned by a trainer that is suspended by CDI are ineligible to earn qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Anthony Manganaro’s Siena Farm is involved in partnerships with 24 horses—12 with the SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable, and Stonestreet Stables conglomerate and another dozen in partnership with WinStar Farm and others—to lead all owners.
There are 250 Kentucky-breds, which represents 80.1% of the nominees. Other states and countries represented are Japan (17), New York (14), Florida (13), Pennsylvania (4), California (3), Canada (3), Ireland (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (2), and Illinois (1).
Horses not nominated during the early phase can be made eligible online at www.TheTripleCrown.com with a $6,000 late payment due by Monday, March 28. There were nine late nominations last year.
Any horse not nominated during the early or late nomination phases can become eligible through a supplemental nomination payment due at the time of entry: Kentucky Derby ($200,000), Preakness ($150,000), and Belmont ($50,000).
Thirteen horses have swept the Triple Crown series: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018).