03/31/2009 11:00PM

Eleven late nominees to Triple Crown


Led by Florida Derby winner Quality Road and the filly Justwhistledixie, 11 3-year-olds were made late nominees to this year's Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, Triple Crown Productions announced.

The late nomination deadline was last Saturday, just hours after Quality Road won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park to stamp himself as the top seed in the Southeast this spring. The cost to nominate at this juncture was $6,000. It cost just $600 by the early nomination deadline of Jan. 24, when 401 were nominated.

The single fee makes horses eligible to all three legs of the Triple Crown, beginning with the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Justwhistledixie ran her winning streak to five in the Bonnie Miss Stakes at Gulfstream, held Friday, the day before the Florida Derby.

In addition to Quality Road and Justwhistledixie, other prominent late nominees include Musket Man, who won the Tampa Bay Derby in his last start, and Win Willy, winner of the Rebel Stakes. Musket Man is entered in Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.

This Ones for Phil, placed first via disqualification Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the Swale Stakes, is another late nominee.

The other late nominees are Feisty Suances and Mr. Hot Stuff, both of whom are expected to compete in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, as well as Bet on Victor, Hamazing Destiny, Hull, and Summer Bird.