Game Winner among 362 horses eligible for Triple Crown


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Unbeaten Game Winner, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and last year’s 2-year-old champion, is among 362 3-year-old thoroughbreds made eligible during the early nomination period to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Other top horses include Gunmetal Gray, Improbable, Knicks Go, Mucho Gusto and Tax.

Four fillies and 20 horses based outside North America, including 11 from Europe, five from Dubai and four from Japan, also are among the early nominees for the Triple Crown series that opens with the Kentucky Derby on May 4. The Preakness is May 18 and the Belmont is June 8.

It cost owners and trainers $600 to nominate each horse during the early period, which ended Jan. 26. The late period, requiring a payment of $6,000, continues until April 1.

Steve Asmussen led all trainers with 27 nominations. Five-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher each had 17 nominees. Baffert trains Game Winner, Improbable and Mucho Gusto.

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