El Camino runner-up heads 9 late Triple Crown noms

Churchill Downs press release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, April 2, 2024) – Hronis Racing’s Tapalo, the El Camino Real Derby runner-up and contender in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby (GI), leads a cast of nine 3-year-olds that were made eligible to compete in the 2024 Triple Crown with a late $6,000 payment that was due Monday.

          Trained by John Sadler, Tapalo is expected to enter Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, the final West Coast stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The nine late nominees (pending late mail):

  • Hronis Racing’s Tapalo;
  • Tri Star Racing & Cimarron TTT’s Awesome Ruta
  • Lewis Family Racing Stables’ Celtic Contender
  • Ten Strike RacingFour Cornerss RacingBroadview StablesCory Moelis Racing and JeremySussman’s D Day Sky
  • Travin Stables’ Evening News
  • Vicente Stables’ Le Dom Bro
  • John Parker’s Lonesome Boy
  • Average Joe Racing Stables and Dan Wells’ Mugatu; and
  • Gelfenstein Farm’s Secret Chat.

          In total, there are now 354 eligible 3-year-olds to compete in the Triple Crown series which consists of the $5 million Kentucky Derby, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI) and $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (GI).

          Any horse not nominated during the early or late phases can become Triple Crown eligible through a supplemental nomination payment due at the time of entry for each Triple Crown race: Kentucky Derby ($200,000 for all three Triple Crown races or $50,000 for the Kentucky Derby only), Preakness ($150,000) and Belmont ($50,000).

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.