(Omaha Beach before this year’s KY Derby / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
MIKE SMITH, OMAHA BEACH, WINNER: “He broke extremely well, almost too well, he slipped a little leaving there but man he settled right in behind them really nice. He was loaded coming off that turn, Mr. Mandella really had him ready today. His last work was brilliant and he ran the way he worked.”
“He’s a throwback to those classic horses. He can do anything. Three quarters to a mile and a quarter. He’s extremely fast and he’s got tremendous stamina. When you need him to be quick, he is. He can do it all. The only thing that surprised me today was that I had to stay inside. His last work was his best one, no question. Today, he hit his best stride late.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, OMAHA BEACH, WINNER: “He just does that for us all the time, he is a fabulous horse, I think little by little he will have the respect he deserves.
“I’m just very relieved to have him back. At the eighth pole, I thought we were (going to be) clear, but it took some race riding…This horse has a heart of gold and he’s got the greatest personality of any horse I’ve ever had. I would say anything’s possible.
“You never know until you run them back, he got a little fresh and hot going into the gate so that is always on the back of your mind. He is a very good horse and God knows how good he will be in the future.
“We were just going to let him run his race, I took two weeks to make a sprinter out of him, so it is not like we practiced a lot, but the really good horses can adapt to whatever you ask.
“I want to enjoy this one, but the (Breeders’ Cup) Sprint, the Mile and the mile and a quarter (Classic) are all possible…We’re gonna run in the Breeders’ Cup! For now I’ll just drink that big bottle of champagne and think it over.”
JORGE NAVARRO, TRAINER OF SHANCELOT, SECOND: “I really don’t know what to think right now, to be honest. I thought maybe he (jockey Emisael Jaramillo) waited too long…What’s he looking back for?”