Good Magic among 360 horses eligible for Triple Crown series

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Good Magic, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and last year’s 2-year-old champion, is among 360 3-year-old thoroughbreds made eligible during the early nomination period to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes.

Other top horses are: once-beaten Bolt d’Oro, BC Juvenile runner-up Solomini, undefeated McKinzie and BC Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn.

Four fillies and 19 horses based outside North America, including 13 from Europe, also are among the early nominees for the Triple Crown series that opens with the Kentucky Derby on May 5. The Preakness is May 18 and the Belmont is June 9.

This year’s early nominations are down from last year’s total of 419 horses. Another six horses were made eligible during the late nomination period to raise last year’s total to 425.

It costs owners and trainers $600 to nominate each horse during the early period, which ended Jan. 20. The late period, requiring a payment of $6,000, is underway and ends March 19.

Todd Pletcher led all trainers with 37 horses nominated. Bob Baffert was second with 32. Irishman Aidan O’Brien led international trainers with six horses.

Zayat Stables led all owners with 12 horses nominated, one more than WinStar Farm.

Since American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, each Triple Crown race has had a different winner.

Pegasus on Jan. 28, Florida Derby on April 1 at Gulfstream

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Gulfstream Park announced the schedule for the 2022-23 Championship Meet, highlighted by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 28.

Also on Pegasus day: The $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, as well as the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Gulfstream’s top Kentucky Derby prep race, the $1 million Florida Derby, will be run on April 1 as part of a card with 10 stakes races. Other top 3-year-old preps at Gulfstream in early 2023 include the $150,000 Mucho Macho Man on Jan. 1, the $250,000 Holy Bull on Feb. 4 and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth on March 4.

The Pegasus is returning for a seventh time. The format has changed several times in the race’s infancy; the purse structure for the Pegasus World Cup no longer requires owners to put up $1 million apiece for a spot in the starting gate for what was, at its inception, the world’s richest race with a purse that reached $16 million.

This much has remained constant: Winning the Pegasus changes a horse’s resume. No Pegasus winner has ever finished worse than sixth in the yearlong earnings among North American horses, and two past winners – Arrogate and Gun Runner – are two of the three highest-earning thoroughbreds in U.S. history.

Gulfstream’s Championship Meet runs from Dec. 26 through April 2, featuring 60 stakes races, 35 of them graded, and worth a combined $13.6 million.

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.