03 May, 2019
"After training this morning we noticed him cough a few times", Mandella said. All three are entered by Bob Baffert, who past year became only the second trainer in history to saddle more than one Triple Crown victor when Justify completed the rare sweep of the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Omaha Beach had breezed impressively over the Churchill Downs track for a week, including a stout five-furlong workout over the weekend.
Favorite Omaha Beach was scratched because of a breathing problem Wednesday night, leaving a pair of Hall of Famers on the sideline - trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Mike Smith. "I'll be a glorified cheerleader". Maximum Security (6-1), Tacitus (8-1) and Code of Honor (10-1) round out the top six betting choices at Westgate.
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Bodexpress replaced Omaha Beach in the field, but if Haikal can not go, there is no second alternative, meaning the field would be slimmed down to 18 horses.
Late scratches for high-profile horses don't happen often right before the Derby, but there have been a few instances in modern times. Mandella, who has never won the Derby with six previous starters, was quietly confident.
Kentucky Derby spokesman Darren Rogers tweeted the news Wednesday evening. He will move into post position 20 and the rest of the field will move down to make up for the opening in post 12, which had been Omaha Beach's starting position.