Kentucky Derby Favorite Scratched From Race

All bets placed on Omaha Beach will be returned

Omaha Beach training. (Michael Reaves/Getty)
Omaha Beach training. (Michael Reaves/Getty)
Getty Images

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On the first day for May flowers, the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby was scratched from running for the roses.

Omaha Beach, who was in the No. 12 post and set to go off at 4-1, was scratched from the race due to a breathing problem.

Churchill Downs confirmed yesterday the favorite was scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis, an airway issue which can cause performance issues for races horses.

“The horse will be fine. He’s OK,” said jockey Mike Smith, who was set to ride Omaha, told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “It’s nothing life-threatening, which is the most important thing,” Smith said. “The other stuff, we’ll get over it. It just wasn’t meant to be. It’s certainly not the end of the world. Yeah, we’re going to miss the Derby, but, hey, that’s part of the game.”

Omaha Beach’s trainer, Richard Mandella, said the horse will be out of action for two to three weeks after having surgery.

Bodexpress, at 30-1, will replace Omaha Beach and run in the No. 20 spot. Every other horse from No. 13 to No. 20 will move over one post position. Game Winner is the new favorite to win at Churchill Downs at 9-2. Behind him at 5-1, Improbable and Roadster near favorites in the 20-horse field.

All bets placed on Omaha Beach will be returned.

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