Fox Hill Farms Inc.'s Omaha Beach galloped at Gulfstream Park Friday morning in preparation for his highly anticipated career finale in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 25.
“He galloped about a mile and a half this morning and looked good,” trainer Richard Mandella said.
Omaha Beach's training for the Pegasus had been compromised for a few days due to a minor foot issue.
“He had a bruise in his foot the other day. We took the shoes off. We poulticed it for a day and put some new shoes on [Thursday],” Mandella said. “I'll give him a few days to get used to that. I'll probably work him next Monday. It could be Sunday. We'll just see how things go.”
Omaha Beach concluded a highly successful 3-year-old campaign with a dominating 2 ¾-length victory in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita Dec. 28. The son of War Front won the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) to earn the role as morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1), only to be scratched from the first leg of the Triple Crown due to an entrapped epiglottis. He returned from a six-month layoff to win the six-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1), before finishing second behind Spun to Run in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita and winning the seven-furlong Malibu.
“It's a pleasure to have a horse like him. Not many people in the world get the chance to have a horse like him,” Mandella said.
Following the Pegasus, Omaha Beach is scheduled to begin stud duty at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, KY for the 2020 breeding season.
“I still haven't given up the idea of kidnapping him,” Mandella quipped.
Omaha Beach will vie for favoritism in the Pegasus in an invited field that includes Spun to Run, who defeated him in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
“I'm anxious get it on. It's great for racing and there are a bunch of pretty nice horses,” Mandella said.
A victory in the Pegasus World Cup would likely be the defining moment of an already productive career.
“It would be very validating, but he's already done a lot for us already and proven how good he is,” Mandella said. “But we expect something big on the day.”
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