Updated on 09/17/2011 10:51AM

Triple Crown traffic coast to coast

Kafwain's win in Saturday's San Vicente earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 114, tops among 3-year-olds this year.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Out in California - where if it's not Domestic Dispute, it's Kafwain - it is all Baffert, all the time. Here in south Florida, the 3-year-old scene is far more amorphous, and it is about to get even deeper.

Sky Mesa, who, like champion colt Vindication, won all of his starts last year, is on a similar go-slow approach to his comeback. He worked an easy five furlongs on Monday morning at Palm Beach Downs, only his third timed workout since being forced to skip the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Offlee Wild, the Holy Bull winner, is preparing for the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 15, where he will meet far fewer rivals than he defeated in the Holy Bull. One of his scheduled rivals is Trust N Luck, who in December was an 11-length winner of Calder's What a Pleasure Stakes, in which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 110. Trust N Luck is scheduled to work between races at Gulfstream on Wednesday; Offlee Wild is scheduled to work that morning.

Lion Tamer, one of Todd Pletcher's many promising 3-year-olds, also will run at Gulfstream on Feb. 15, but in the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes. He tuned up for that race with a five-furlong drill in 1:03.40 on Monday morning at the Palm Meadows training center.

Whywhywhy, who will head here next week to run in either the Fountain of Youth or the Hutcheson, has been training at Santa Anita, where he worked seven furlongs on Monday in 1:25.80 for trainer Patrick Biancone.

Those runners are among the record 446 3-year-olds who were early nominations, at a cost of $600, to the Triple Crown, which begins with the Kentucky Derby on May 3. If a horse can sweep the Derby, the May 17 Preakness Stakes, and the June 7 Belmont Stakes, he will earn a $5 million bonus from Visa, the Triple Crown's sponsor.

The previous record for early nominations was 440, set in 2001. There is a second nomination stage March 29, for those not previously nominated, but it will cost $6,000 at that point.

Pletcher has the most nominations among trainers, with 28. D. Wayne Lukas has 23, and Saeed bin Suroor 19. Suroor trains for Dubai-based Godolphin Racing Inc., which nominated 19 horses, the most among owners. Godolphin's 19 runners are half of the 38 horses based overseas who were nominated to the Triple Crown.

Five fillies are among the nominations, but not Storm Flag Flying, who was the champion 2-year-old filly of 2002 and the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

"There's too many good races just for fillies," Shug McGaughey, the trainer of Storm Flag Flying, said Monday morning at Gulfstream Park while listing the reasons Storm Flag Flying was not nominated to the Triple Crown. He said making a decision now regarding the filly's Triple Crown eligibility was best for everyone. "This takes it off the table," McGaughey said.

Back on the table is Toccet, the Hollywood Futurity winner, who has been out of training recently because of a malady, bone remodeling, that could keep him out of the Derby scene. Nevertheless, his owner, Dan Borislow, is holding out hope that Toccet can get back in time to make the Derby. Toccet is at Laurel Park in Maryland with trainer John Scanlan.

"He is going to undergo a nuclear scan on the 13th, and if everything is okay, he'll go into training the next day," Borislow said from his home in Palm Beach. "Hopefully, we can give him two preps before the Derby. If we can't give him two preps, he won't run in the Derby."

Borislow compared Toccet's timetable to the one last year of Proud Citizen, who had just two preps for the Derby, and finished second in the Derby to War Emblem. "He raced into shape, and peaked at the right time," Borislow said.

Borislow has been encouraged by the subsequent performances of horses Toccet defeated in the Hollywood Futurity, Kafwain and Domestic Dispute, both of whom won stakes in their next starts.

"Both ran monster races," Borislow said. "Watching Kafwain on Saturday made me even more proud that my horse shipped out there and won that race."

Kafwain turned in an overpowering performance in Saturday's San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

He won the seven-furlong race by 4 1/2 lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 114, the best number recorded by any 3-year-old this year.

"From 2 to 3, they're supposed to move forward. Right now, any forward move is encouraging," Baffert, Kafwain's trainer, said from Santa Anita.

Baffert said Kafwain would likely make his next start in the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe Stakes on March 16 at Santa Anita. That also is a possible spot for Domestic Dispute, the Baffert-trained winner of last month's Santa Catalina Stakes.

The status of Vindication is still a question. Baffert has backed off in the way he trains the colt since a fast workout a week and a half ago. On Monday, Baffert said Vindication would not have another work "probably for another week or something."

Vindication has not raced since his victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Baffert has said repeatedly that Vindication will only have two preps for the Derby, and though it is still six weeks until the colt's first probable start, the fact that there has been a change in his routine is, at this point, both newsworthy and noteworthy. On Monday, Vindication had a light gallop after being accompanied by a pony for a light jog.

Also possible for either the San Felipe, or the March 1 San Rafael Stakes, is Robledo, who won Saturday's Turf Paradise Derby and recorded a Beyer Figure of 100.

Champali got a Beyer Figure of 82 for his victory in Saturday's WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park.