John Pricci

HorseRaceInsider.com executive editor John Pricci has over three decades of experience as a thoroughbred racing public handicapper and was an award-winning journalist while at New York Newsday for 18 years.

John has covered 14 Kentucky Derbies and Preaknesses, all but three Breeders' Cups since its inception in 1984, and has seen all but two Belmont Stakes live since 1969.

Currently John is a contributing racing writer to MSNBC.com, an analyst on the Capital Off-Track Betting television network, and co-hosts numerous handicapping seminars. He resides in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Sunday, February 05, 2012


Triple Crown Nominees Post Gains in 2012


PLANTATION, FLA., February 4, 2012—Led by co Experimental highweights, champion Hansen and Breeders’ Cup runnerup Union Rags and despite a smaller foal, 397 three year olds, including six fillies, were nominated to the 2012 Triple Crown series.

This represents the foals of 2009 that were nominated at the first deadline. A second round of nominees, at 10 times the $600 early nomination deadline, closes on March 24. The series’ first leg, the Kentucky Derby, will be renewed at May 5.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has nominated 32 runners with Bob Baffert next at 21. Ahmed Zayat heads the owners list with 13 nominees with Robert LaPenta second on this list at 10.
Of the six fillies nominated, On Fire Baby, who raced well against colts earlier this year when third in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, owns a win over the Derby track, having taken the Golden Rod Stakes impressively as a juvenile.

Undefeated champion My Miss Aurelia, currently sidelined by an injury, was not nominated but is expected to return to the race later this season.

Six fillies are nominated, including Golden Rod Stakes winner On Fire Baby. My Miss Aurelia, the unbeaten winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, is currently recuperating from a minor injury and, not surprisingly, was not nominated.

Ahmed Zayat’s Zayat Stables leads all owners with 13 nominees. Robert LaPenta is next with 10.

Tiznow and Unbridled’s Song each have 12 of their get nominated, but it’s Bernardini that’s currently the hottest sire on the Triple Crown trail. The first round of Derby advance wagering takes place on the final weekend of the month.

Written by John Pricci

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