Kentucky Derby may lose another contender in Haikal

Kentucky Derby may lose another contender in Haikal

Favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched from the Kentucky Derby because of a breathing problem.

Jockey Mike Smith, who chose to ride Omaha Beach over Roadster in the Kentucky Derby, is now left without a mount.

(CNN)Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched from Saturday's first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown because of a respiratory disease, race organizers said Wednesday on Twitter. "We found an entrapped epiglottis". The latest of Roadster's three victories came in the Santa Anita Derby on April 6. The race could set up nicely for longshot horses to crash the board, particularly with a balanced blend of frontrunners, closers and stalkers that could push the Kentucky Derby pace in any direction.


Kentucky Derby spokesman Darren Rogers tweeted the news Wednesday evening.

The revised morning-line odds from track oddsmaker Mike Battaglia issued shortly after Wednesday's announcement have priced Game Winner as the favorite at 9-2, while Roadster and Improbable are the joint second choices at 5-1.

Handsome horse Omaha Beach sports two neat white blazes on his face. A win by any of the three would give Baffert his sixth Kentucky Derby win, which would tie the record by a trainer that's now held by Ben Jones.


"I've never had a 3-year-old in my barn looking this good", Mandella said. "We'll have to figure out a whole new game plan".

Historically speaking, this is the most jarring Derby scratch since AP Indy bailed on the day of the race in 1992 due to a foot injury. Trainer Richard Mandella said the ailment would sideline Omaha Beach for about three weeks.

Here are the post positions and odds to win for the full field. McLaughlin said if Haikal can't train on Friday morning, he'd take the colt out of the race.


The stunning blow to the 145th running of America's most famous thoroughbred race was discovered when the son of War Front developed a cough after a promising morning workout at Churchill Downs and was scoped, the Hall of Fame trainer said in a statement.

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