Hoof Issue Forces Haikal from Derby; Omaha Beach Undergoes Successful Procedure

Posted on: May 3, 2019, 01:43h. 

Last updated on: May 3, 2019, 01:43h.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby saw another defection to the field Friday morning as the connections to Haikal pulled the 3-year-old out of the race.

Haikal, seen here training earlier this week, was scratched from the Kentucky Derby on Friday due to an abscess on his front left hoof. He is the second horse to be scratched from the race. (Image: Churchill Downs)

The colt developed an abscess on his left front hoof earlier in the week, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin hoped ­­the Gotham Stakes winner would be able to respond.

“We put shoes back on him this morning and jogged him and he was still not 100%,” McLaughlin said. “After speaking with (Shadwell Farms General Manager) Rick Nichols, we decided to scratch. The horse always comes first.”

McLaughlin said the horse will return to the Lexington, Ky., farm and “live to fight another day.”

In five career starts, Haikal has won three times and earned $373,900.

Haikal is now the second horse to be scratched from the race. On Wednesday, morning line favorite Omaha Beach, who drew the No. 12 gate, was removed due to a throat ailment.

Haikal drew the No. 11 gate in Tuesday’s pill pull for post positions. With the Derby field now at 19 entries, the 10 horses to the inside will move out. That means War of Will, who drew the No. 1 gate, will now race from the No. 2 gate.

Omaha Beach’s exit paved the way for Bodexpress to enter the race. He will race from the far outside post, while those who slated to run from gates 13-20 will move inside one spot.

Omaha Beach Update

On Friday morning, Fox Hill Farms, Omaha Beach’s owner, posted video on its Facebook page of the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby winner’s surgery to repair his entrapped epiglottis.

“All went extremely well,” Omaha Beach’s owner said after the procedure.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Omaha Beach will be able to run in either of the other Triple Crown races due to his ailment. After Saturday’s Derby, the next leg, the Preakness Stakes, takes place on May 18 in Baltimore.

Can’t run in two weeks because he’s not going to train at all,” trainer Richard Mandella said on Thursday. “Can’t run in the (June 8) Belmont… especially that we didn’t run this weekend. So, having not run and try to train up to it with two weeks off wouldn’t be fair to the horse. I wouldn’t try to put him through that.”

Mike Smith, who was slated to ride Omaha Beach, ended up getting the call to mount Cutting Humor. Smith, who also was the jockey on Derby entrant Roadster in the Santa Anita Derby, will replace Corey Lanerie on the Todd Pletcher-trained colt.

Derby Field and Current Odds

Here’s how the horses will lineup for Saturday’s race, with their morning line odds and pari-mutuel odds as of 4 pm ET Friday. (Note: The numbers listed are their betting positions)

        1. War of Will (Morning Line 20-1, Current 18-1)
        2. Tax (20-1/41-1)
        3. By My Standards (20-1/14-1)
        4. Gray Magician (50-1/28-1)
        5. Improbable (6-1/5-1)
        6. Vekoma (24-1/20-1)
        7. Maximum Security (10-1/5-1)
        8. Tacitus (10-1/5-1)
        9. Plus Que Parfait (30-1/49-1)
        10. Cutting Humor (24-1/30-1)
        11. Haikal – SCRATCHED
        12. Omaha Beach – SCRATCHED
        13. Code of Honor (15-1/12-1)
        14. Win Win Win (15-1/14-1)
        15. Master Fencer (50-1/52-1)
        16. Game Winner (5-1/6-1)
        17. Roadster (6-1/9-1)
        18. Long Range Toddy (30-1/42-1)
        19. Spinoff (30-1/55-1)
        20. Country House (30-1/71-1)
        21. Bodexpress (30-1/99-1)