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Free Eagle Heads UK Triple Crown Noms
Highly regarded UK colt Free Eagle (High Chaparral-Polished Gem, by Danehill), third favourite for the English Derby, is among twelve European nominations for the US Triple Crown, reports racingpost.com. Trained by Irish master Dermot Weld, who won the 1990 Belmont Stakes with Go And Go, Free Eagle created a big impression when winning his debut at Leopardstown in August before finding the Coolmore colt Australia too good in the Gr3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial Stakes at the same course at his second start. The beautifully bred Australia, by Galileo from champion mare Ouija Board, has been described by Aidan O'Brien as potentially the best juvenile to go through the Ballydoyle stable. While Australia is not among the Ballydoyle string nominated for the Triple Crown series, O'Brien will nevertheless be represented by talented youngsters Giovanni Boldini, Michaelmas, Oklahoma City & Sir John Hawkins as he chases his first Triple Crown race success. Among the other European 3YOs nominated is the Richard Hannon-trained Chief Barker, while Mikel Delzangles has entered Tiznow colt Bookrunner. A total of 413 3YOs have been entered for the Triple Crown races, the highest number since 2008. The Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes received a significant prize-money boost for 2014 and are now both worth US$1.5 million.