Omaha Beach Team To Host ‘Meet And Greet’ For Veterans At Breeders’ Cup

by | 10.28.2019 | 12:02pm
Richard Mandella with Omaha Beach at Churchill Downs

Sentient Jet, a Directional Aviation company, pioneer in private aviation, and passionate supporter of the thoroughbred racing community, is pleased to announce the extension of its partnership with the American Thoroughbred racehorse Omaha Beach as part of its continued support of Homes For Our Troops, a Veteran nonprofit that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes to assist severely injured post-9/11 Veterans in rebuilding their lives.

Omaha Beach is expected to race in the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile, part of the 2019 Breeders' Cup World Championships, scheduled Saturday November 2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Post time for the Dirt Mile is 4:10pm EDT.

Sentient Jet's partnership with Omaha Beach will carry over throughout the horse's entire career. The 3-year-old Thoroughbred is one of a highly distinguished group of horses that have been handpicked for partnership by Sentient Jet throughout the brand's decade-long presence within the horseracing industry. Others included 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Country House, 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, 2017 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin' at Lee, and recent Triple Crown standouts Combatant, Tenfold, and Gronkowski.

Integral to the partnership, Sentient Jet will host U.S. Veterans at all of Omaha Beach's races. At the upcoming 2019 Breeders' Cup, for instance, the company will host an intimate “meet and greet” for Veterans with Omaha Beach, his trainer Richard Mandella, and his jockey Mike Smith on Media Day, Wednesday, October 30 at the track. The group of Veterans will also be hosted by Sentient Jet for a day at the races on Saturday, November 2. The acclaimed attendees include Army Specialist Geoffrey Quevedo, Marine Corporal John Smith, Marine Corporal Darryl Charles, and Army Staff Sergeant Wallace Fanene, each of who sustained life-altering injuries during their respective tours of duty.

Omaha Beach is an inspiring story for injured veterans and fans of horseracing alike. Named for the most intensely fought-after beach of D-Day in World War II, the Kentucky-bred colt is owned by longtime horseracing entity Fox Hill Farm whose owner Rick Porter has named many Thoroughbreds in reference to important military moments to remind race fans of the incredible sacrifices that have been made by the nation's Veterans throughout history. The horse has had a remarkable 3-year-old season, including winning this year's Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby, both run at Oaklawn Park in March and April, respectively.

With those victories behind him, Omaha Beach was the morning-line favorite at 4-1 odds for the 2019 Kentucky Derby on May 4, but missed the race following an entrapped epiglottis. More setbacks, including a virus, followed over summer. Despite the horse's long layoff, trainer Mandella decided to enter the horse in the six-furlong Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship held at Santa Anita Park on October 5. Though not the post-time favorite, Omaha Beach took the race, powering along the rail to win by a head in front of odds-on favorite Shancelot.

Whatever his finish in the Big Ass Fan Dirt Mile, Omaha Beach is well-positioned to bring great visibility and attention to Homes For Our Troops and the Veteran community at large.

The partnership with Omaha Beach builds upon Sentient Jet's multi-year awareness campaign in support of Homes For Our Troops, which began with the company's partnership with Combatant at the 2018 Kentucky Derby followed by Tenfold at the 2018 Preakness Stakes and 2018 Belmont Stakes.

“We have been strong supporters of the mission of Homes For Our Troops since 2018, and we're thrilled to join forces with Fox Hill Farm and team Omaha Beach to continue raising awareness of the good work the non-profit does on behalf of injured Veterans who have done so much for their country,” said Andrew Collins, president and CEO of Sentient Jet. “With his impressive comeback over the last month, Omaha Beach is a remarkable representative for this worthy cause, and we're going to be rooting for him down the track at Santa Anita Park.”

Rick Porter, owner of Fox Hill Farm added, “As the names of so many of our horses reveals, Fox Hill Farm is strongly and whole-heartedly committed to honoring our nation's Veterans and bringing attention to all they have done for our country, and we're proud to partner with Sentient Jet and Homes For Our Troops to celebrate and support the Veteran community at the 2019 Breeders' Cup World Championships.”

Richard Mandella, trainer of Omaha Beach continued, “It is a special opportunity to train a horse as talented as Omaha Beach and a unique privilege to have him associated with raising awareness for our injured veterans and Home for Our Troops mission.”

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