Back in California, Omaha Beach better, 'but not perfect'

June 11, 2019 01:22pm

Omaha Beach, the former Kentucky Derby favorite who missed the race to undergo throat surgery, shipped Monday back to trainer Richard Mandella's base at Santa Anita Park.

Mandella said Tuesday the 3-year-old son of War Front -- a winner of three straight races, including the Arkansas Derby (G1) -- will continue riding under tack until scoped again "in the next few days."

“The throat is much better, but not perfect yet," he said. "When it’s perfect, we’ll begin to go the racetrack.”

Upon receiving Omaha Beach's diagnosis of an entrapped epiglottis the Wednesday of Derby week, Mandella surmised races such as the July 20 Haskell (G1) and Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (G1) may fit into the calendar. But Omaha Beach took a bit longer than expected to heal, and continues to do so.

There are no race or workout plans on the calendar in the meantime.

“We don’t want to get him breathing hard and irritate the throat any further," Mandella said.

Dr. Rolf Embertson performed the surgery May 3 -- Kentucky Oaks day -- at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexingon, Ky. Subsequently, Omaha Beach recovered at nearby WinStar Farm, which has also housed champion filly Monomoy Girl after her colic scare earlier this year.

Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm campaigns Omaha Beach, who hasn't finished out of the money in seven career starts. He began to truly shine once on the dirt, narrowly losing a one-mile maiden special weight race on Jan. 4 before reeling off three straight victories.

Purchased privately by Fox Hill after failing to meet reserve in the sales ring, the colt's breeding rights have already been acquired by Spendthrift Farm to stand him after retirement.

Fox Hill Farm shared to its Facebook page video of Omaha Beach leaving his stall at WinStar Farm:


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