November 30, 2023

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach to be scratched due to entrapped epiglottis

Omaha Beach galloping at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

Omaha Beach, who was made the 4-1 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) following back-to-back wins in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and a division of the Rebel (G2), will reportedly be scratched. Trainer Richard Mandella told Churchill Downs publicity that the son of War Front was discovered to have an entrapped epiglottis.

Reigning juvenile champion Game Winner, who finished a nose behind Omaha Beach in the Rebel before finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), was made the 5-1 second choice on the morning line. Fellow Bob Bob Baffert trainees Improbable and Roadster, both 6-1 on the morning line, will also now vie for favoritism.

Omaha Beach’s withdrawal ensures Bodexpress, the maiden Florida Derby (G1) runner-up and only also-eligible in the field, a spot in the starting gate.