Kentucky Derby Favorite Omaha Beach Will Not Race Due to Entrapped Epiglottis

A week later, Smith found the winner's circle again, this time aboard Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby. According to Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports, the horse was coughing this morning and when it was examined a test revealed entrapped epiglottis, which disrupts the horse's breathing.

Trainer Richard Mandella told The Associated Press the colt developed a cough and a subsequent veterinary exam showed Omaha Beach has an entrapped epiglottis.

In a stunning Kentucky Derby development, favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched from the race just three days before post time.

Omaha Beach was scheduled to come out of Gate 12, which hasn't sent off a victor since 1971, when Canonero II won from No. 12.

Omaha Beach had breezed impressively over the Churchill Downs track for a week, including a stout five-furlong workout over the weekend.

It's a bitter blow for the 68-year-old trainer and the horse's owner, Rick Porter, a 77-year-old who has been in the thoroughbred racing business for many years.

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"He's a great sport", Mandella said.

The Kentucky Derby front-runner won't be racing Saturday.

With Omaha Beach out of the race, the presumptive betting line favorite will be Game Winner, trained by two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert.

Justify won the Kentucky Derby past year on his way to winning the Triple Crown.

"I'm all in with Flo", he said.

Also-eligible Bodexpress will now be able to draw into the field and will start from post No. 20 unless another horse scratches prior to the deadline.

  • Lawrence Cooper