|Omaha Beach Wins Arkansas Derby|
by Harry Cummins
In a thrilling race that sent the top 3 finishers to the May 4 Kentucky Derby, Omaha Beach held off Improbable down the stretch to claim a one length victory in the $1 million Arkansas Derby this weekend over a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park.
A winner of his last 3 starts, Omaha Beach is now in a position to claim the favorites role in the Kentucky Derby. It was the second graded stakes win at Oaklawn Park by Omaha Beach, both times defeating trainer Bob Baffert's top Derby hopefuls.
Prior to defeating Improbable in the Arkansas Derby, Omaha Beach also edged Game Winner, Baffert's 2018 2 year old champion, in the recent Rebel Stakes. County House, by finishing third in the Arkansas Derby, earned enough qualifying points for the famed Run For The Roses at Churchill Downs in 2 weeks.
Omaha Beach's win at Oaklawn presents his jockey Mike Smith with a tough decision. Smith also rode the Baffert trained Roadster (see rankings below) to a win last month in the Santa Anita Derby and now must choose between the top two contending mounts in the upcoming Kentucky Derby.
Here are the current Top 5 3 year-old horses in the land according to the latest NTRA Poll:
1. Omaha Beach
4. Game Winner