Omaha Beach, Roadster Have Something to Prove
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Santa Anita Park was last seen hosting the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, an event that saw spectacular moments such as Mitole winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Bricks and Mortar hanging on in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Another of those great moments was when Spun to Run defeated heavily favored Omaha Beach in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Omaha Beach is back for the 2019 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Saturday, opening day of the 2020 winter/spring meeting.
Omaha Beach is 4-5 morning line to win the $300,000, seven-furlong race, taking on a field that includes Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster. The Richard Mandella-trainee has never been worse than second at this track, where he broke his maiden over the trip by nine lengths and won the grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship by a head over Shancelot in a timeless performance. The Arkansas Derby (G1) hero was once the favorite for the Kentucky Derby before he was forced to scratch. Mike Smith will be back aboard the son of War Front, who is expected to start in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) after this en route to retirement.
Roadster will break alongside. The son of Quality Road hasn’t won since taking the Santa Anita Derby here in April, after which he was placed 15th in the Kentucky Derby. Since then the Bob Baffert-trainee has been second twice, including his comeback in the November 2 Damascus on the Breeders’ Cup undercard, but finished fourth and last as a heavy choice in the Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar last out. Joel Rosario climbs aboard for the first time.
Complexity comes in for trainer Chad Brown off a more than seven length score in an Aqueduct allowance race. That was his first win since taking the grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last year. Javier Castellano comes in to ride the son of Maclean’s Music, who is three for five lifetime.
Much Better and Manny Wah round out the field. Both are trained by Baffert, with Manny Wah transferring in from the barn of Wayne Catalano. He was a winner at Churchill Downs in allowance company September 27, then second by a neck in stakes company at Mountaineer. Much Better was second by a nose against older horses at Del Mar last out, and puts blinkers on for this.
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