Two Nominated to Triple Crown, Three More Possible
By Dick Downey
Ruggero (JPN) and Work and Love (JPN) are the two Triple Crown nominees among 16 horses entered in Sunday’s one-mile Hyacinth Stakes at Toyko Racecourse.
The Hyacinth has a post time of 12:25 am eastern time Sunday, which is 2:25 in the afternoon in Tokyo.
Complete List of Entries
The Hyacinth concludes the three-race Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby and will award points to the Top 4 finishers on a 30-12-6-3 scale. Only one invitation to compete in the Kentucky Derby will be extended from the Japan Road, with preference given to the horse with the most points. If any given invitation is declined, no invitation will be extended to any other horse beyond the top four point earners.
A caveat. If a Japan Road horse qualifies that way but also qualifies through the traditional Road to the Kentucky Derby series, an invite will be extended to the next eligible Japan Road horse. One more thing: If two or more Japan Road horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is lifetime earnings as of April 14.
Ruggero (JPN), trained by Yuichi Shikato, garnered 10 points for winning the one-mile Cattleya Sho by a half-length at Tokyo in November.
According to racing officials, the connections of three horses will consider paying the $6,000 late Triple Crown nomination fee should they win the Hyacinth: Dark Repulser (JPN), Meisho Isana (JPN) and Meisho Opus (JPN).
All of the above-named horses are nominated to the $2 million UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse on March 31 and could make the Kentucky Derby as part of the traditional "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series -- but they either have to be nominated or pay a supplement fee of $200,000.