Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach (War Front) exited his victory in Saturday’s GI Arkansas Derby in fine shape, according to trainer Richard Mandella.
“We’ve had him out and checked him over,” Mandella said. “He looks great.”
Omaha Beach is expected to ship by van to Louisville Tuesday to continue preparations for the May 4 GI Kentucky Derby.
On the board in his first four career starts, Omaha Beach has now won three straight. He won the Mar. 16 GII Rebel S. prior to his Arkansas Derby win.
“I’ve said all along, some day somebody will ask me, ‘How did you get this horse beat so many times?” Mandella said with a laugh. “I started saying that way back because we always thought it was there.”
Arkansas Derby runner-up Improbable (City Zip) will also head to Louisville, but plans for third-place finisher Country House (Lookin at Lucky) are still undecided.
“I haven’t talked to the owners [Mrs. J.V. Shields Jr., E.J.M. McFadden Jr. and LNJ Foxwoods] this morning,” trainer Bill Mott said. “As far as I know, they were pleased. Initially, it sounded like they were last night. We didn’t talk Derby. I think that was one of the goals, to get enough points to go to the Derby. Now we’ve got to assess the situation and see if it makes sense to enter up.”
Peter Redekop’s Anothertwistafate (Scat Daddy), currently sitting 23rd on the Derby points list after his runner-up effort in Saturday’s GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland, will ship to Churchill Downs.
“If he doesn’t get in [the Derby], we still have the [May 18 GI] Preakness S.,” trainer Blaine Wright said. “He has done a lot of shipping, and I think the best thing now would be to get to one place and settle in.”
The Preakness could also be the next target for Lexington winner Owendale (Into Mischief), who sits 29th on the Derby points list. Third-place finisher Sueno (Atreides), already back at trainer Keith Desormeaux’s Churchill Downs base, sits in 24th on the leaderboard. “Now we will keep our fingers crossed,” assistant trainer Julie Clark said of making it into the Derby field.