Pegasus World Cup favorite Omaha Beach scratches

January 23, 2020 01:44pm
Pegasus World Cup favorite Omaha Beach scratches
Photo: Ryan Thompson/Gulfstream Park
Hours after Pegasus World Cup (G1) second choice Spun to Run defected from the race Thursday, favorite Omaha Beach followed.

Trainer Richard Mandella told Gulfstream Park's publicity staff that Omaha Beach showed "light swelling" in his right-hind fetlock after training earlier in the morning, fearing it's the beginnings of a fracture.

The 4-year-old son of War Front was to make Saturday's Pegasus his final career start before retiring to stud at Spendthrift Farm. Presumably, he is now retired.

"While we are disappointed to have to miss the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Omaha Beach’s safety and well-being comes first and we wanted to do what was best for him," Mandella said. "He has been a great pleasure to have around the barn and we are grateful for the opportunity to train such a magnificent horse.”

Omaha Beach was rated the even-money top choice after Spun to Run's scratch. Now a field of 10 remains, with the wide-open group led by the likes of Grade 1 winner Higher Power, Grade 2 winner Tax and Grade 3 winner Mucho Gusto.

This, of course, is the second time Omaha Beach has been pulled from a major race after the entry deadline. He missed the Kentucky Derby and then much of his 3-year-old campaign due to surgery to repair a breathing issue.

Fox Hill Farms' Omaha Beach returned to post victories in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and Malibu Stakes (G1), securing his Pegasus favoritism. Mucho Gusto was the race's third morning line choice at 9-2 before the defections.

“We appreciate the willingness of Mr. Mandella to put the safety of Omaha Beach above all else,” said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group.  “His decision was the right thing to do and reflects the new standard of care set for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.”

Omaha Beach raced 10 times, with his other stakes victories in a division of Oaklawn Park's Rebel Stakes (G2) and the Arkansas Derby (G1). He earned north of $1.6 million with four seconds and one third, suffering only one defeat to Spun to Run in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile after breaking his maiden after switched by Mandella to the main track.

2020 Pegasus World Cup (G1)


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