01/02/2009 12:00AM

Triple Crown early fees due soon

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Nominations are being taken for the 2009 Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 16, and the Belmont Stakes on June 6.

Early nominations, at $600 per horse, close on Jan. 24. Nominations can be made through the mail; by telephone at either (800) 928-3372, (502) 636-4405 or the Churchill Downs racing office at (502) 636-4470; at any racetrack's racing office; online at www.thetriplecrownchallenge.com; or in person with representatives from Triple Crown Productions. Each nomination makes the horse eligible for all three races.

Representatives will be in Southern California, Florida, and Louisiana, where the bulk of prospective Triple Crown trainees are stabled, beginning Jan. 14.

A late-nomination period, when $6,000 is required, begins after early nominations close and runs to March 28.