Past The Wire logo

 

 

Omaha Beach showed some brutal stubbornness to hold off a charging Game Winner to win the second leg of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

Under Mike Smith, Omaha Beach broke alertly and grabbed the early lead out of the gate but Smith snatched him just a bit and let Market King and Jersey Agenda go on with it to his inside. Omaha Beach sat chilly in third and at the 1/2 mile marker, Smith turned him loose and the pair opened up. Game Winner, the two-year old champion and Breeders’ Cup winner followed that move and when the field turned for home, it was apparent that it would be a two-horse race. At the 1/16 pole, Omaha Beach was still in front by two-lengths with Game Winner bearing down on him. The pair battled it out to the wire where Omaha Beach would prevail by the smallest of noses.
Market King ran a distant third at 45/1 and Gunmetal Gray closed in no hurry to be fourth.
Trained by Richard Mandella, the son of War Front covered the 1-1/16 miles in 1:42.42 and the trainer is unsure of his future plans. “We’ll just see how things go,” he said. We’ll get him back home and take a look next week.”
As for the 1/2 favorite, Game Winner, trained by Bob Baffert, broke a bit slow and ran between horses early but found his way clear on the back stretch. Rosario rode him hard and the pair were all out to gun down the leader but Omaha Beach dug down deep and held off a very game, Game Winner. Both horses have enough points to head to the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Omaha Beach $10.80 3.80 3.20
Game Winner              2.40 2.40
Market King                         8.40
Gunmetal Gray
$1 Exacta $11.30
.50-cent Tri $92.10
.10-cent Super $98.11