Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched from Saturday’s first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown because of a respiratory disease, race organizers said Wednesday on Twitter.
Omaha Beach has an entrapped epiglottis, which according to the horse racing website Equibase is a “condition in which the thin membrane lying below the epiglottis moves up and covers the epiglottis.”
The condition is normally treated with surgery.
Trainer Richard Mandella said his team noticed the horse cough a few times after morning training. They checked him out with a scope and found the problem.
“We can’t fix it this week so we’ll have to have a procedure done in a few days and probably be out of training for a few weeks.” he said, according to the Kentucky Derby Twitter feed.
Omaha Beach won his past three starts, including the Arkansas Derby, while ridden by last year’s Triple Crown winning jockey, Mike Smith.
Omaha Beach was a 4-1 favorite when odds were posted Wednesday morning.