Good Magic, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Eclipse Award champion two-year-old male of 2017, is among the talented young horses that have been nominated to compete in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, the three races that comprise the historic Triple Crown.
All told, 360 three-year-olds were made eligible for the Triple Crown at the first stage of nomination, which closed on January 20th. The total, which is the smallest since 358 horses were nominated in 2005, includes 19 horses based outside of North America—ten from Ireland and three apiece from Dubai, England, and Japan.
In addition to Good Magic, eight other Grade 1 winners have been nominated to the Triple Crown, those being Bolt d’Oro, Firenze Fire, Free Drop Billy, McKinzie, Mendelssohn, Sioux Nation, Sporting Chance, and U S Navy Flag.
Todd Pletcher, who has won five Triple Crown races overall, leads all trainers in terms of total nominees with 37, better than 10% of all eligible horses. The Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, with four Derby wins on his record, nominated 32 horses, while D. Wayne Lukas—the all-time leading Triple Crown trainer with fourteen classic victories under his belt—nominated eight.
Zayat Stables, the owner of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, nominated twelve horses to the Triple Crown, the most of any owner. The leading breeder of Triple Crown nominees is Charles E. Fipke with eleven; in addition, Fipke personally owns ten Triple Crown nominees.
Not surprisingly, the leading sire of nominees is the three-time U.S. leading sire Tapit, who has 22 foals eligible for the Triple Crown. Pioneerof the Nile, sire of American Pharoah, has twelve foals nominated to the series.
While the majority of the nominated horses are colts and geldings, four fillies have also been made eligible. They are the stakes winners Wonder Gadot and Miss Mo Mentum and the unbeaten pair of Amy’s Challenge and Heavenhasmynikki.
Horses that were not nominated to the Triple Crown before the early deadline can be made eligible via a late payment of $6,000 submitted by March 19th. Additional details and facts about the Triple Crown nominees can be viewed on the Kentucky Derby website, along with a complete list of nominees.