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Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach to scratch with an entrapped epiglottis; Bodexpress draws in


Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach will be scratched from Saturday’s 145th renewal due to an entrapped epiglottis, according to Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.

Omaha Beach (Photo courtesy Coady Photography/ Oaklawn Park)

“After training this morning we noticed him cough a few times,” Mandella said. “It caused us to scope him and we found an entrapped epiglottis. We can’t fix it this week so we’ll have to have a procedure done in a few days and probably be out of training for three weeks. We’ll have to figure out a whole new game plan.”

The epiglottis is a triangular-shaped cartilage that lies at the base of the airway just in front of the arytenoid cartilages which cover the airway during swallowing. When an abnormality occurs in this area it can hinder the performance of horses.

Mandella is scheduled to meet with the media today at 8 a.m. outside of Barn 28 to further discuss the development.

With the scratch of Omaha Beach, Bodexpress will draw into the field and break from post position 20. All horses outside of Omaha Beach (post positions 13-20) will move over one position in the starting gate.

The scratch could leave Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith without a Kentucky Derby mount.

Smith rode both Omaha Beach and Roadster, another of the race favorites, in Derby prep races, but chose Omaha Beach as his Kentucky Derby mount.

Bob Baffert, trainer of Roadster, named Florent Geroux to ride Roadster in the Derby.

Smith could still find his way into the starting gate Saturday if the connections of one of the other horses in the field name the two-time Derby winner to replace their current jockey, or if he is named to ride Bodexpress.

With the scratch of Omaha Beach, Bodexpress will draw into the field and break from post position 20. All horses outside of Omaha Beach (post positions 13-20) will move over one position in the starting gate.

NKyTribune staff and Churchill Downs, Inc.


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