01/03/2008 1:00AM

Early Crown nominations due Jan. 19


Early nominations to the Triple Crown, which close on Jan. 19, are now being solicited by Triple Crown Productions, which is dispatching representatives to major tracks in California, Florida, and Louisiana over the next two weeks.

The early nomination fee is $600, and covers the Kentucky Derby on May 3, Preakness on May 17, and Belmont on June 7.

In addition to signing up in person with a representative from Triple Crown Productions, nominations can be made by calling (800) 928-3372 or (502) 638-3810, or online at www.thetriplecrownchallenge.com.

Soliciting nominations in Florida at racetracks and training centers will be Ed Seigenfeld, the executive vice president of Triple Crown Productions; Don Richardson, the senior vice president of racing at Churchill Downs; P.J. Campo, the director of racing at Belmont Park; and Coley Blind, the stakes coordinator at Pimlico.

Ben Huffman, the racing secretary at Churchill Downs, will be at Fair Grounds. Gene Williams, from Triple Crown Productions, and Dan Smith, the media director at Del Mar, will canvass Southern California.

Horses not nominated by Jan. 19 for $600 can still be made eligible by March 29, but the fee rises to $6,000.