Kentucky Derby Favorite Omaha Beach Pulled From Race

Omaha Beach reportedly was coughing Wednesday morning, and an examination revealed an entrapped epiglottis - a breathing obstruction that compromises a horse's ability to breathe during exercise.

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

Richard Mandella told Churchill Downs the colt will miss the race because of entrapped epiglottis.

"It's such a disappointment, but we'll fight again, " Mandella told the AP. Earlier Wednesday, Omaha Beach had galloped one and three quarter miles in preparation for the $3m race, after which Mandella declared the three-year-old as "good as ever".

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


A day after betting favorite Omaha Beach was scratched with an illness, Haikal became questionable with an abscess in his left front hoof, the Courier-Journal reported.

The scratch was another blow to cancer survivor Rick Porter, the colt's 78-year-old owner. The ordeal will knock him off the Triple Crown trail. He has twice finished second in the Derby, in 2007 with Hard Spun and the following year with filly Eight Belles, who broke her ankles past the finish line and had to be euthanized.

Bob Baffert-trained horses Game Winner, Roadster and Improbable are among the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby with Omaha Beach out.

The Omaha Beach defection makes room for supplemental entry Bodexpress, who was on the outside looking in.

The first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown is only a few days away, and post positions were drawn for the 20 horses in the field on Tuesday.


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