Omaha Beach scratched from Derby 145
New favorite is Bob Baffert’s Game Winner at 9-2
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach is out of the Run for the Roses.
Trainer Richard Mandella said the colt will miss the race with an entrapped epiglottis.
Rick Porter, owner of Omaha Beach, said the condition was discovered Wednesday after the throat of the horse was scoped. Mandella said Omaha Beach had been coughing and that led to the scope.
Omaha Beach, who had an inflammation about 10 days before, had been given a clean bill of health on Tuesday leading Porter and Madella to enter him in the Derby.
Porter said another vet who they had examine the horse on Wednesday saw the entrapped epiglottis and tried several times to release it. When those attempts failed, it was decided that a minor surgical procedure would be necessary to free the entrapped epiglottis. The procedure will be done next week.
“We can’t fix it this week,” Mandella said.
Porter said it will not impact the future career of Omaha Beach and the horse should be back racing in late June or early July. Madella estimated Omaha Beach would be out of training approximately three weeks.
Porter said he was devastated upon hearing the news.
Omaha Beach was the 4-1 favorite when the morning-line odds were released Tuesday. His jockey, Mike Smith, chose Omaha Beach over trainer Bob Baffert’s Roadster, whom Smith rode to victory in the Santa Anita Derby. A week later, Smith found the winner’s circle again, this time aboard Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby.
Smith and Baffert won the Triple Crown together with Justify last year. Smith now appears to be left out of Saturday’s Run for the Roses.
Mandella will meet with reporters Thursday morning outside his Churchill Downs barn.
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