’It was devastating’: Omaha Beach trainer discusses the Derby contender’s scratch

’It was devastating’: Omaha Beach trainer discusses the Derby contender’s scratch
Mandella said Omaha Beach coughed during practice on Wednesday, leading doctors to discover his entrapped epiglottis.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – “It just seemed like everything was so in line. I actually have the thought that things were too perfect...”

That was Omaha Beach trainer Richard Mandella the day after his horse scratched from the Kentucky Derby with an entrapped epiglottis.

Omaha Beach’s veterinarian, Dr. Foster Northrop, said an entrapped epiglottis means the tissue underneath the epiglottis swells and prevents the epiglottis from moving. He explained when a horse entraps it limits their breathing and it blocks approximately one-third of their airway.

Northrop said the surgery to fix the issue is simple. An incision will be made in the tissue and the tissue will fall off the epiglottis, shrink, fall off and disappear.

“It was devastating to be honest with you,” Mandella said of the moment he learned Omaha Beach could not run.

Omaha Beach will undergo surgery in Lexington on Tuesday afternoon to repair the epiglottis, and will be out of training for two or three weeks but is expected to race again.

When asked if there was any chance Omaha Beach could run in later Triple Crown Races, the Preakness and Belmont, Mandella said those races were “out of the question.”

Mandella said a longer-term goal for the team would be the Breeders Cup this fall.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.