Omaha Beach Returns at Santa Anita

October 4, 2019

Sprinters will take center stage at Santa Anita, as Saturday’s $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1)—which pits star 3-year-olds OMAHA BEACH and SHANCELOT—will offer an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and Sunday’s $100,000 “Win and You’re In” Speakeasy will award a spot into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

The Sprint Championship, at six furlongs, marks the return of Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach, who was scratched as the morning favorite from the Kentucky Derby by trainer Richard Mandella with an entrapped epiglottis. The 3-year-old son of War Front won the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) this winter at Oaklawn Park and has been given plenty of time to make it back to the races. Omaha Beach is 3-for-7 lifetime and has been in steady training for the last month, and could use the Sprint Championship as a springboard to either the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Ivan Rodriguez and Michelle and Albert Crawford’s Shancelot set the racing world abuzz when he won Saratoga’s Amsterdam (G2) by 12 ½ length and set a track record in the process for trainer Jorge Navarro. The 3-year-old son of 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby regressed in his next start, when third in Saratoga’s Allen Jerkens (G1) Aug. 24, but his devastating early speed could be right at home at Santa Anita. Shancelot is 3-for-4 lifetime and should like cutting back a furlong from the seven-furlong Jerkens. CALIFORNIA STREET, HORSE GREEDY, FLAGSTAFF, and ONE FLEW SOUTH are also entered in the “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

The Speakeasy, at five furlongs, figures to have a large field, with Andre Farm’s ALFIE OLOMONS rating as an intriguing prospect for trainer Wesley Ward. The 2-year-old son of Kantharos won on debut at Kentucky Downs Sept. 12 and starts for one of the top juvenile sprint trainers in the country. ARDENLEE STAR, COMMANDER (FR), ÉCLAIR, GINOBILI, GREG’S DIVA, RAGING WHISKEY, SQUARE DEAL, and WAR BEAT could also start.

Breeders’ Cup Newsletter Release, October 4, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

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