Kentucky Derby may lose another contender in Haikal

Arnold Nichols
May 3, 2019

Haikal, who was supposed to start next to Omaha Beach in the No. 11 post position, now has 30-to-1 odds but may not be able to run in Saturday's first leg of the Triple Crown. 'We won't be out a long time'.

Omaha Beach was the morning-line favorite at 4-1.

It's a bitter blow for the 68-year-old trainer and the horse's owner, Rick Porter, a 77-year-old who has been in the thoroughbred racing business for many years.

He has twice finished second in the Derby, in 2007 with Hard Spun and the following year with filly Eight Belles, who broke her ankles past the finish line and had to be euthanized.

Churchill Downs PR also released on explanation of entrapped epiglottis in a tweet shortly after announcing the scratch.


I think very highly of Jose Ortiz, but with the trip Tacitus will have to get to win this race, it will be tough on this young jock.

Mandella's dry sense of humor came out when he said, 'My wife has my leg tied down so I can't jump out of the window'. He rode Justify to victory previous year. "He's OK. It's nothing life-threatening, which is the most important thing".

Another reason I will be against the Wood Memorial victor is his connection's records in the Derby. 'I'll be a glorified cheerleader'. McLaughlin said if Haikal can't train on Friday morning, he'd take the colt out of the race. But that changed by late afternoon when the exam showed the cough was more than a minor irritation. Omaha Beach's scratch moves Bodexpress into the field with the No. 20 post. That would likely be too swift of a timeline for the colt to return to racing, particularly without training.

Florida Derby victor Maximum Security now has a better chance of winning the race on or near the lead with few up front to challenge him and keep the pace honest. Morning line favorite. Different race now.

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