Omaha Beach, a horse of unfulfilled potential, is expected to add to his gaudy but abbreviated resume in the prestigious Malibu Stakes on opening day Thursday, Dec. 26.
The Runhappy Malibu is one of two Grade I races to be featured that day as historic Santa Anita Park begins its 83rd season of world class racing, the other being the La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies, like the Malibu to be decided at seven furlongs.
“He worked three quarters in (a bullet one) 12 yesterday,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the three-year-old War Front colt, who was favored to win the Kentucky Derby before an 11th hour injury forced him to miss the first jewel of the Triple Crown last May 4.
“He galloped out seven-eighths in (one minute) 25 and change. He couldn't look better.”
As it stands, the Malibu will be the penultimate race for Omaha Beach, who has never been out of the money in nine starts, boasting four wins, four seconds and a third, earning $1,471,800 for owner Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms, Inc.
After the Malibu, if the fates allow, it's on to the $3 million, Grade I Pegasus World Cup Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park before going off to stud at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.
Bob Baffert, who won the 2018 Malibu with McKinzie, plans to enter both Santa Anita Derby winner Roadster and Much Better when opening day entries are drawn on Saturday, with Mother Mother making her first start since May 3 in the La Brea.
First post time on opening day is 11:30 a.m. Admission gates open at 9:30 a.m.
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