Omaha Beach, to be ridden by last year’s Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith, enters Saturday’s 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs as the 4-1 morning-line favorite after Tuesday’s post-position draw.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach will start in the No. 12 post and comes in on a three-race winning streak in seven starts, including, the Arkansas Derby and the Rebel Stakes.
Second choice, as selected by Churchill Downs and Keeneland oddsmaker Mike Battaglia, was Game Winner at 5-1, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion.
Smith had his choice of mounts between Omaha Beach and co-third choice Roadster (6-1), but eschewed a chance to repeat with Justify-trainer Bob Baffert for the Omaha Beach mount. Baffert, a five-time Derby and two-time Triple Crown winner, also has Game Winner (5-1) and Improbable (6-1).
Omaha Beach ranked first among those voting in the final 2019 Kentucky Derby Media Poll released Monday by HorseRacingNation.com. The poll offered clues to the parity of the field, however, with six horses receiving first-place votes. Omaha Beach led the pack with 13 first-place nods, followed by Game Winner with four.
145th Kentucky Derby
When: 6:50 p.m. Saturday
Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville
Purse: $3 million (Grade 1)
Distance: 1 1/4 miles (dirt)
Derby field with odds
PP, Trainer, Jockey, Odds
1. War of Will, Mark Casse, Tyler Gaffalione, 20-1
2. Tax, Danny Gargan, Junior Alvarado, 20-1
3. By My Standards, Bret Calhoun, Gabriel Saez, 20-1
4. Gray Magician, Peter Miller, Drayden Van Dyke, 50-1
5. Improbable, Bob Baffert, Irad Ortiz Jr., 6-1
6. Vekoma, George Weaver, Javier Castellano, 20-1
7. Maximum Security, Jason Servis, Luis Saez, 10-1
8. Tacitus, Bill Mott, Jose Ortiz, 10-1
9. Plus Que Parfait, Brendan Walsh, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1
10. Cutting Humor, Todd Pletcher, Corey Lanerie, 30-1
11. Haikal, Kiaran McLaughlin, Rajiv Maragh, 30-1
12. Omaha Beach, Richard Mandella, Mike Smith, 4-1
13. Code of Honor, Shug McGaughey, John Velazquez, 15-1
14. Win Win Win, Michael Trombetta, Julian Pimentel, 15-1
15. Master Fencer, Koichi Tsunoda, Julien Leparoux, 50-1
16. Game Winner, Bob Baffert, Joel Rosario, 5-1
17. Roadster, Bob Baffert, Florent Geroux, 6-1
18. Long Range Toddy, Steve Asmussen, Jon Court, 30-1
19. Spinoff, Todd Pletcher, Manny Franco, 30-1
20. Country House, Bill Mott, Flavien Prat, 30-1
Also eligible: Bodexpress, Gustavo Delgado, Chris Landeros, 30-1