Fox Hill Farm’s Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Omaha Beach returned to Hot Springs from his California base to post an even more impressive victory in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) before a rain-drenched crowd of 45,000.
Omaha Beach, breaking from post three under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, broke well and was fifth early as longshot One Flew South led for the opening quarter mile in :23. The 8-5 favorite angled four wide on the first turn, assumed the lead by a half mile in :47 2/5 and never looked back. The Bob Baffert-trained Improbable, the 9-5 second choice, was restless in the gate, broke sixth and moved his way into second by the time the field reached the homestretch, but could not reach Omaha Beach, who won by one length in 1:49 4/5 for 1 1/8-miles on a sloppy track. Country House, who was 10th at the half-mile mark, made a huge run, closing late to be third.
Laughing Fox closed from last to be fourth. Galilean, Long Range Toddy, Jersey Agenda, Tikhvin Flew, Gary Attempt, Six Shooter and One Flew South complete the 11-horse field.
Omaha Beach earned 100 points for his Arkansas Derby victory and is now second on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 137.5 points. Improbable earned 40 points for second and is safely in the Kentucky Derby field as the 11th horse on the list with 65 points. Country House earned 20 points to bring his total to 50 and is 15th on the list of 20 horses guaranteed a spot in the gate for the “Run for the Roses,” Saturday, May 4, closing day of the 2019 Oaklawn season.
The Richard Mandella-trained Omaha Beach improved his record to 3-3-1 from seven starts and has earned $1,121,800. The War Front colt returned $5.40, $3 and $2.80 as the favorite.
Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Standings
|Rank||Horse||Trainer||Points||Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings|
|2.||Omaha Beach||Richard Mandella||137.5||$1,050,000|
|4.||Plus Que Parfait||Brendan Walsh||104||$1,540,400|
|6.||By My Standards||Bret Calhoun||100||$600,000|
|7.||Maximum Security||Jason Servis||100||$582,800|
|8.||Game Winner||Bob Baffert||85||$1,810,000|
|9.||Code of Honor||Shug McGaughey||74||$432,070|
|12.||War of Will||Mark Casse||60||$440,840|
|13.||Long Range Toddy||Steve Asmussen||53.5||$830,000|
|15.||Cutting Humor||Todd Pletcher||50||$462,467|
|16.||Win Win Win||Mike Trombetta||50||$350,000|
|17.||Country House||Bill Mott||50||$220,000|
|18.||Gray Magician||Peter Miller||41||$526,000|
|20.||Master Fencer (JPN)||Koichi Tsunoda||(Japan)||$234,392|
|25.||Bourbon War||Mark Hennig||31||$137,200|