03/24/2015 1:36PM

Dubai Sky among 9 late nominees to Triple Crown

Coady Photography
Dubai Sky earned 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby for his Spiral Stakes win.

Dubai Sky, the winner of last Saturday’s Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky, was one of nine horses nominated to the Triple Crown at the last deadline Monday night, according to Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby.

The other late nominees are I Spent It, the winner of last year’s Saratoga Special; Gotham Stakes runner-up Tiz Shea D; two 3-year-olds trained by Todd Pletcher, Comfort and Two Weeks Off; Bridget’s Big Luvy, the winner of the $100,000 Private Terms at Laurel Park; two-time allowance winner Mr. Jordan; Divining Rod; and Pepper Roani.

The late nominees were required to pay $6,000 by midnight Monday to be eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The 20-horse field for the Derby is determined by the number of points that eligible runners have earned in designated stakes races leading up to the May 2 race, with purse earnings in non-restricted stakes races serving as a tiebreaker.

Despite having won three of his four career starts before the Spiral Stakes, including a stakes race at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24, Dubai Sky was considered a longshot for the Triple Crown trail because of his preference for turf. The Spiral was run over Turfway’s artificial surface, and it earned Dubai Sky 50 points toward qualifying for the Derby field, good for seventh place on the current list of Derby eligibles. He is owned by Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables.

Of the other late nominees, Tiz Shea D also is currently eligible to make the Derby field with 20 points.

A total of 429 horses were nominated to the Triple Crown by the first deadline, Jan. 29, when the nomination fee was $600. That number was 14 more than last year and 1.8 percent of the entire 2012 foal crop.

The overall total of 438 nominees is the largest since 2007 and 2008, when 460 horses were nominated to the Triple Crown. The 460 total is the record for the series.