Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched from this weekends upcoming race because of a breathing problem.
The colt from Southern California galloped Wednesday morning without any problem and trainer Richard Mandella said everything was fine.
However late Wednesday afternoon it was discovered that the 4-1 favorite had developed entrapped epiglottis, which is a condition where the cartilage at the base of the airway hampers the colt’s breathing. It’s generally not a career-threatening problem and is usually corrected with minor surgery.
“The horse will be fine. He’s OK. It’s nothing life-threatening, which is the most important thing,” jockey Mike Smith told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “The other stuff, we’ll get over it.”
In the months leading up to Saturday’s race the young horse dealt with a quarter crack in the hoof near the cuticle.
The new favorite is now Game Winner, who was the 5-1 second choice.