Mandella: Omaha Beach now has a choice of two races next

November 18, 2019 03:25pm
Mandella: Omaha Beach now has a choice of two races next
It’s no slam dunk Omaha Beach will stay home and run in the Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, as trainer Richard Mandella said Monday the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct earlier in the month is also under consideration.

Earlier in the morning, Omaha Beach went through his first work since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, completing an easy three furlongs in :36.20 at Del Mar.

Noting Omaha Beach “could not look better,” Mandella conceded the seven-furlong Malibu is probably the best path for the bigger goal of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25. He questions the idea of sending Omaha Beach cross-country for the Cigar just six weeks before another coast-to-coast trip for the Pegasus.

With that said, Mandella finds the Dec. 7 race at Aqueduct “interesting” and hasn't taken it off the table. 

“The Malibu then the Pegasus would be the most likely scenario, but I’ve given a little thought about the Cigar Mile,” Mandella said. “[However] with the Pegasus in the plan, I kind of hate to send him out of town and then back before I do that. That’s the main reason [not to go]. But there is some thought as it's a very attractive race.”

In addition to lucrative $750,000 purse, the Cigar Mile is also a notable race to win for stallion prospects such as Omaha Beach, who will stand at Spendthrift Farm following the Pegasus. For bettors and racing fans, a start in the Cigar Mile would add more star power to a lineup that's expected to include Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Spun to Run and Maximum Security, potentially this season’s champion 3-year-old.

Omaha Beach has won four of six starts this season with two runner-up finishes for Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms. He was the morning line favorite for this year’s Kentucky Derby based off his earlier wins in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, but had to be scratched and was subsequently sidelined for six months.

The son of War Front came off the bench to beat top sprinter Shancelot in a scintillating edition of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) on Oct. 5 before losing to Spun to Run in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Omaha Beach has a career mark of 4-4-1 in nine starts and earnings of $1,471,800. 


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