Kentucky Derby favorite ruled out of race

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach to miss race with entrapped epiglottis

Mandella said Omaha Beach had a sore throat eight or ten days ago, which was treated with a throat wash and seemed to go away until the horse coughed during his Wednesday gallop.

It's a bitter blow for the 68-year-old trainer and the horse's owner, Rick Porter, a 77-year-old who has been in the thoroughbred racing business for many years. Trainer Richard Mandella, a Hall of Famer seeking his first Kentucky Derby victory, was beaming earlier this week about how his colt was performing.

According to Dr. Foster Northrop, an entrapped epiglottis can happen when the tissue beneath it has swollen and popped up, wrapping around the epiglottis and preventing it from moving as normal.

A day after betting favorite Omaha Beach was scratched with an illness, Haikal became questionable with an abscess in his left front hoof, the Courier-Journal reported.

The brawny dark bay colt, who had been assigned 4-1 odds at Tuesday's draw following wins in the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby, had been slated to break from the No 12 post under Mike Smith, the veteran jockey who rode Justify to the Triple Crown a year ago. The ordeal will knock him off the Triple Crown trail. 'I've got very good support'.

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Smith had chosen to ride Omaha Beach instead of Roadster and now he won't have a chance to win the Derby for the second straight year. "He's OK. It's nothing life-threatening, which is the most important thing", Smith said.

'I'll be rooting for Roadster's connections big-time, ' he said. But that changed by late afternoon when the exam showed the cough was more than a minor irritation.

Here is everything you need to know for this year's race, including when and where to watch, the pole positions for the horses and the odds as of May 1.

Mandella said he would likely return to Southern California before the Derby.

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