2019 Kentucky Derby horse profile: Omaha Beach – Metro US

2019 Kentucky Derby horse profile: Omaha Beach

2019 Kentucky Derby horse profile Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach is the 4-1 morning-line favorite in the 145th Kentucky Derby that’s set for Saturday at Churchill Downs (6:50 p.m. ET, NBC). MetroBet investigates the racing résumé of Omaha Beach as well as his pedigree and the human connections who have led him to the “Run for the Roses” below. 

Omaha Beach toiled in the maiden ranks for four starts before finally breaking through in the mud at Santa Anita in his fifth career try in February. Sent off as a 4-1 underdog in Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes next time out, Omaha Beach dug in and fended off Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Game Winner. He then made his final prep in the Arkansas Derby, also at Oaklawn Park. Omaha Beach caught another sloppy track, led most of the way while racing well off the rail, and had enough to hold off multiple stakes winner Improbable. 

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The pedigree of Omaha Beach is a solid one for the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Kentucky Derby. He’s by War Front, a multiple graded stakes winner who is one of the most prolific sires in North America. Progeny of War Front have combined to win 20 Grade I races across multiple surfaces and distances since 2009. Omaha Beach’s dam is Charming, by multiple Grade I winner Seeking the Gold. This makes Omaha Beach a half-brother to 2014 Juvenile Fillies champion Take Charge Brandi. Charming’s dam is Take Charge Lady, a multiple graded stakes winner who has produced $1 million earners Will Take Charge and Take Charge Indy. 

Mike Smith, who won last year’s Triple Crown with Justify, chose Omaha Beach over Santa Anita Derby victor Roadster. Smith’s only other Derby victory came in 2005, when he pulled off a shocking upset atop Giacomo. He rides for Hall-of-Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who seeks his first career score in the Kentucky Derby.  He’s trained a multitude of million-dollar earners, including 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect and the brilliant Beholder, a mare that beat the boys in the 2015 Pacific Classic and won multiple Breeders’ Cup events in a highly-memorable career.