By Dick Downey
Top 3-year-olds on the Road to the Kentucky Derby headline a list of 191 nominees to the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.
The 1 1/8-mile Toyota Blue Grass, offering 100 Kentucky Derby points to the winner, has attracted nominations for 22 of the current top 25 on the Derby points leaderboard. Among the 191 nominees, in order of their Derby points, are these stakes winners: undefeated Samraat (winner of the Withers and Gotham Stakes), Intense Holiday (Risen Star), Wildcat Red (Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth), Tapiture (Kentucky Jockey Club and Southwest), Vicar’s in Trouble (Lecomte), Cairo Prince (Nashua and Holy Bull), Tamarando (El Camino Real Derby) and Candy Boy (Robert B. Lewis).
Also nominated are reigning juvenile champion Shared Belief (unraced this year) and other Derby points leaders including Uncle Sigh (runner-up Gotham), General a Rod (runner-up Fountain of Youth), Havana (unraced this year), Honor Code (unraced this year), Midnight Hawk (third Robert B. Lewis) and Bond Holder (unraced this year).
A complete list of 2014 Toyota Blue Grass nominees can be downloaded here, and their past performances are here.
A late nomination period for the Blue Grass closes Wednesday, March 26.
“The depth and quality of this year’s Toyota Blue Grass nominations is extraordinary; it is a ‘who’s who’ of today’s Derby hopefuls,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing W.B. Rogers Beasley said. “We thank our horsemen for their strong support of our racing program.”
Todd Pletcher nominated 27 to lead all trainers. D. Wayne Lukas named 11 and Bob Baffert 10.
FOX Sports 1 will provide live coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass from 4:30–6 p.m. ET as part of The Jockey Club Racing Tour.
The Toyota Blue Grass undercard will have four other graded stakes – the Jenny Wiley, Madison, Commonwealth and Shakertown.
Last year, Java’s War ran downe eventual Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice in the final yards to win the Blue Grass before a crowd of 37,161, the second largest in track history.