As odd as it sounds, there is barely 24 hours Fox Hill Farm & # 39; s Omaha Beach clung to the last available spot for the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).
Now, in three weeks, the son of War Front could be the seventh consecutive favorite to win the Rush.
In a race that allowed the first three winners to win their ticket to the May 4 Kentucky Derby, it's Omaha Beach that has won the lion's share of qualifying points and praise while it's up there. defended himself. Unlikely record a length win in the Arkansas Derby (G1) $ 1 million on April 13 in Oaklawn Park.
"I was hoping he would stay in the area, and he surely did," said coach Richard Mandella. "He learned to fight."
Villa was third in a run on a botched (sealed) track that could produce four Kentucky Derby starters. Long-range Toddy, who was sixth, has already earned a place in the Kentucky Derby with 53.5 qualifying points when he turned back Improbable in the first division of the Rebel Stakes (G2).
Winner of his last three starts, Omaha Beach should move towards Churchill Downs He beat two of Kentucky Derby's top hopes from coach Bob Baffert at Oaklawn Park.
"I think the horse is going well with the other horses, we'll see how he gets out of the race and how things are going, and we'll probably decide tonight (regarding the Kentucky Derby)," said owner Rick Porter. .
Before defeating the improbable Baffert formed in the Arkansas derby, Omaha Beach has become a major opponent of the Triple Crown when it has Winner of the game2018 2-year-old Baffert Champion with a 2nd Division nose in the March 16 Rebel Stakes (G2).
"Since the Rebel, he has grown and is bigger," said Mandella, who is 0-on-6 in the Kentucky Derby, with a fifth-place finish for Soul of the Matter in 1994, his best result. "Either that or the mud makes it look bigger, I'm not sure what, but we're really excited, I hope it stays as good as it was, because it's Is improved all year. "
The Arkansas derby was the final issue of the Kentucky Road to the Derby series, and with 100-40-20-20 points for the best, he put the finishing touches on the 20-pack for the Rush – for now.
With 137.5 points, California-based Omaha Beach has moved up from 19th place in the points standings behind the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets winner (G2) Tacit (150).
Improbable was 27th and was not in the Kentucky Derby until Saturday, but he climbed to 11th while adding 40 points gave him 65 points.
"(I was) happy with the way he ran," said Baffert about Improbable. "I was a little worried at the starting gate, he was acting there, I spent a few moments, maybe he was going to get up or do something and let himself go. they unloaded it and put it back in its place, and it got off to a good start, I thought that Jose Ortiz had done a great job as an editor, we were beaten by a good horse and they showed how much these California horses are good horses. "
Country House, owned by Mrs. J.V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. and LNJ Foxwoods started the day with 25 points in the Derby standings with 30 points, but finished 17th with a total of 50 points.
"We'll talk to the owners (about the Kentucky Derby)," said coach Bill Mott. "That's what we were looking for and it ran well."
With Japan Master Fencer assured of 20th place, once the smoke dissipated after the derby of Arkansas, the 19th place belonged to Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2), second Spin off with 40 points. Missing was Bodexpress, the girl who finished second in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1). He also has 40 points, but his winnings are $ 36,000 lower than Spinoff, which left him on the bubble, requiring a defection to run on May 4th.
A winner by nine lengths in his first race on February 2 on a sloppy track at Santa Anita ParkOmaha Beach quickly took advantage of his advantage to take a narrow lead under the shirt of the Mike Smith Pantheon, while the pack was touching the back of the Arkansas derby, and was leading half a -length after half a mile: 47.50.
Improbable made five movements of width on the back to aim at Omaha Beach. After six lengths in 1: 12.46, he traced three points behind the leader. But when he was challenged, the 8-5 favorite ($ 5.40) dug, just like he had done in the Rebel to avoid the winner of the game. He held improbable to distance throughout the course to cross the free wire of a length of 1: 49.91 for 1 1/8 miles.
Unlikely, the 9-5 second choice held by WinStar Farm, the China Horse Club and Starlight Racing was 5 3/4 ahead of Country House, which meanwhile was one length ahead. Laughing the fox take third place and sneak into the Kentucky Derby field.
The result leaves Smith an interesting dilemma as he also participates in the winner of Baffert's Santa Anita Derby (G1) Roadster.
"It's a good decision to make. We will go back and see how everyone comes back and leave from there, "Smith said. (We) will evaluate the situation. Then my agent will make the decision. That's why I pay him. "
Raised in Kentucky by the Charming Syndicate on the Seeking the Gold Mare Charming, Omaha Beach was a $ 625,000 NRA on the Keeneland sale in September 2006. He is the last recorded foal of his mother, who was raised to American Pharaoh for 2019. After making his first three starts on the grass, he won three out of four starts on the ground and made career gains of $ 1,121,800.
Video: Arkansas Derby (G1)