B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm has entered into an agreement with Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm to acquire the breeding rights to Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner and Kentucky Derby contender Omaha Beach.
“First, I'd like to thank Rick Porter for the opportunity to stand such a special horse as Omaha Beach,” said Hughes. “We believe Omaha Beach is one of the best stallion prospects to come around in recent years and see him as a big part of the future at Spendthrift. He is truly a rare package – elite looks, pedigree, sire power, speed, class, you name it. He has everything and we feel the best is yet to come for him.
“We also think the best is yet to come for Spendthrift, and it is important to us that we continue to bring in premier stallion prospects of the likes of Bolt d'Oro and Omaha Beach to help shape our future. I wish both Rick Porter and Richard Mandella the best this week and beyond with Omaha Beach,” Hughes added.
Omaha Beach will continue to be campaigned by Fox Hill Farms and trainer Richard Mandella, and at the conclusion of his racing career he will retire to Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., to take up stud duty.
“I am delighted Omaha Beach will join the stallion roster at Spendthrift Farm upon the conclusion of his racing career,” said Porter. “B. Wayne Hughes and his team have a world-class operation and will provide Omaha Beach with every opportunity to become a leading sire. Omaha Beach has been a wonderful blessing to me and my family and I hope we get to enjoy many more thrills with him at the racetrack.”
By leading sire War Front, Omaha Beach enters Saturday's $3-million Kentucky Derby as the likely favorite after reeling off three straight wins, including back-to-back scores at Oaklawn in the $750,000 G2 Rebel Stakes in March and $1-million Arkansas Derby earlier this month.
In early February, Omaha Beach vaulted onto the Derby trail following a nine-length maiden win at Santa Anita where he led gate-to-wire in 1:21.02 for seven furlongs. The Rebel five weeks later marked a breakout victory, defeating last year's 2-year-old champion Game Winner in 1:42.42 for 1 1/16 miles. In the Arkansas Derby, Omaha Beach moved to the top of the crop by earning his first Grade 1 win. He turned back a stretch challenge from fellow Grade 1 winner Improbable to prove best, stopping the clock in 1:49.91 for 1 1/8 miles and earning a 101 Beyer for the performance.
An earner of $1,121,800 to date, Omaha Beach hails from one of the most productive dirt families in the industry in recent years. Out of the Seeking the Gold mare Charming, Omaha Beach is a half-brother to 2014 Breeders' Cup winner and champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi. His second dam is three-time Grade 1-winning millionaire Take Charge Lady, who was named Broodmare of the Year in 2013 after her son Will Take Charge was champion 3-year-old colt that same year. She's also the dam of G1 Florida Derby winner and current sire Take Charge Indy.
Omaha Beach breezed five furlongs in 59 seconds on April 27th at Churchill in his final tune-up for the Kentucky Derby. He will be ridden Saturday by his regular jockey Mike Smith.
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