Omaha Beach installed as big favourite in the Pegasus

Omaha Beach installed as big favourite in the Pegasus

Friday, January 24, 2020

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Omaha Beach has been installed as the favourite for tomorrow’s US$3-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the final race of his career.

The four-year-old, who was the morning line favourite for the Kentucky Derby last season but had to miss the entire Triple Crown series after throat surgery, will be retired to stud after the Pegasus, and his finale could be lucrative.

Omaha Beach has already earned about US$1.6 million and could more than double that if he wins Gulfstream Park’s biggest race. He’s been at Gulfstream for about a month, getting used to the surroundings. “He’s settled in nice,” trainer Richard Mandella said.

“He’s had plenty of time. We’re kind of getting bored from walking around back there. It’s time to get serious.”

Mike Smith will ride Omaha Beach, the 7-5 morning line favourite for the Pegasus — to be run this year for the first time under a no-medication rule.

Spun To Run is the 7-2 second choice, followed by Mucho Gusto at 9-2 and Higher Power at 6-1. It’ll be a full field of 12 for the Pegasus, as well as 12 in the field for the US$1 million Pegasus Turf.

Magic Wand — a five-year-old mare who’ll be racing against males — is the 7-2 favorite there, even after drawing the farthest outside post.

The Pegasus races will require horses to be medication- free on race day for the first time and will have substantially reduced purses from the previous three editions of the event.

The banning of race-day medication has been a major topic within racing for some time.

Starting this year, twoyear- olds at many US tracks will not be permitted to take the commonly used diuretic Lasix within 24 hours of racing.

Lasix is given to horses to prevent bleeding; though most international tracks do not allow it to be taken on race days.

By 2021, the Triple Crown races also will have the no-medication on race day rules as well.

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