Roughly 15 hours after riding McKinzie to an impressive and emotionally-charged victory in the $1 million Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday afternoon, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was back at Del Mar riding workouts Sunday morning.
At 7:45, Smith was up on Omaha Beach, the Arkansas Derby winner and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby before being scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis, for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.
Omaha Beach went five furlongs in :59.80, covering the last quarter in 23 seconds. See the work here.
“It was brilliant,” Smith said of the Omaha Beach work. “He’s feeling really good and he went really well … Songbird’s little sister (America’s Surprise) also went really well. It’s hard to be compared to your sister, like she will be, but she’s nice.”
Mandella’s delight with the effort of Omaha Beach, who is being targeted for a comeback in the Shared Belief Stakes on August 25, was obvious from the smile on his face. “He broke off six lengths behind my other horse (Magical Kiss) and left her behind (at the wire) by about that many,” Mandella said. “I had him galloping out (6 furlongs) in 1:12.
“I couldn’t have asked for any better.”