Best Odds with Top Tote+ and Bet Back Offers!
Register at Australia's #1 Online Bookmaker!
Back A Winner!
Sign-Up to Australia's Fastest Growing Online Bookmaker!
Back Yourself!
Sign-up and start betting with Ladbrokes in 2 minutes!
Best Of The Best Odds!
Bet With Palmerbet and get Paid Top Fluc or Top Tote!
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Image: AAP

Bob Baffert is feeling the pressure now. The five-time Kentucky Derby winning-trainer finds himself with new favourite Game Winner after Omaha Beach was scratched with a breathing problem.

“Oh, boy, here we go,” Baffert said.

“I think everybody is trying to jinx me. It’s still a very wide-open race.”

The Derby could possibly lose another horse, too.

Haikal, a 30-1 shot trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is being treated for an abscess in his left front foot. The Gotham Stakes winner did not work on Thursday and the hoof is being treated.

No matter how much he tries to deflect the attention, Baffert holds a strong hand heading into the race on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

Game Winner is the 9-2 early favourite, and his stablemates, Improbable and Roadster, are the co-second choices at 5-1.

A sixth victory would tie Baffert for the most wins by a trainer in the Derby’s 145-year history.

“I don’t think there’s a heavy-duty favourite now,” he said.

He tried to deflect the media’s attention to Jason Servis, who trains Maximum Security. The Florida Derby winner is a 10-1 shot.

“He should be the favourite,” Baffert said. “He’s a horse that nobody is talking about and that’s a horse that I’m worried about. He’s run faster than we have.”

Servis empathised with Omaha Beach’s trainer Richard Mandella and 78-year-old owner Rick Porter but was glad to see jockey Mike Smith knocked out of the race. The 53-year-old is a crafty rider who won a year ago with Justify.

“I was really happy about that, especially having him outside of me,” said Servis, alluding to Smith’s ability to have possibly prompted Maximum Security into a quicker than desirable early pace.

Baffert said he gave no thought to replacing Florent Geroux aboard Roadster with Smith, who initially chose to ride Omaha Beach over Roadster in the Derby.

“I would never do that to the riders,” he said.

Omaha Beach is scheduled to undergo surgery to fix an entrapped epiglottis which affects his breathing.

The minor procedure, at a nearby clinic in Lexington, will require two to three weeks of recovery, enough time to knock the colt off the Triple Crown trail. He is expected to race this summer.

“As bad as it felt yesterday, it would be a horrible feeling to have him not finish well and know that I was at fault for running him,” Mandella said.

Baffert felt Mandella’s pain. In 2014, he had to scratch Hoppertunity because of a minor foot problem two days before the Derby.

“There’s nothing like coming to the Derby when you have a legitimate chance to win it and then all of a sudden the rug is just pulled out from under you,” Baffert said. “It’s a tough feeling.”

 
*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
Featured News

Free Racing Bonus Bets and Offers

We take a look at the BIGGEST and BEST Free Daily Racing Offers and Betting Promotions from Australia’s leading online...

Winterbottom Stakes results and replay – 2020

View the results and replay for the 2020 Winterbottom Stakes. The Winterbottom Stakes was raced at Ascot racecourse on 28/11/2020....

Elite Street wins the G1 Winterbottom Stakes

Brad Rawiller has given the Daniel Morton trained Elite Street a ten out of ten ride to win the Group...

Horse Racing Big Collects, Bets and Moves – Saturday’s Races 28/11/2020

Australia’s leading bookmaker the TAB gives an overview of today’s betting markets from the feature races and race meetings from around the...

Alligator Blood’s trainer and owners part ways

Trainer David Vandyke will not be the trainer of star Queensland galloper Alligator Blood when the horse returns. David Vandyke...

Tokoriki Lad wins in unusual fashion

Punters watching the last race at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday did a quick double-take and then they still had...

Star Queenslander Rothfire recovering well

For Rothfire, the Group 1 Golden Rose, back on September 26, was meant to be the final stepping-stone towards participation...

Connections turn down huge money for exciting stayer

Connections of exciting stayer Ain’tnodeeldun have turned down big money from Hong Kong interests. Co-trainer Sam Freedman has confirmed offers...

Racing officials reviewing use of whip

A study commissioned by the RSPCA has put the issue of whip use back in the spotlight after it found...

Stud career looms for Cox Plate winner

A stud career for Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet is nearing although trainer Ciaron Maher will look to add a...

Kingston Town Classic

The is a  race held at each year. The  event is held in December each year and is one of...

Australian Bookmaker Reviews

Which bookmaker should you bet with? We Review each of the leading online Australian Bookmakers and rate them in order...

 
 
Copyright © 2020 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.
18+ Don't let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble responsibly. Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au or www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.