Thursday, May 9, 2013

Omaha: Four-Year-Old Season

 Once Omaha arrived in England, he impressed racing fans with his large size and good looks. He spent several months conditioning before he made his debut in England, which was in the Victor Wild Stakes on May 9th, 1936. He won the mile and a half race by a length and a half. Next he won the two mile long Queen's Plate carrying 130 pounds, and began to gain popularity.

 After that came the most remembered race of his English career: the Ascot Gold Cup. He battled it out with Quashed, England finest long distance runner, up the tracks uphill homestretch, losing only by a nose. In the Prince of Wales Stakes, he similarly lost to Taj Akbar by a neck. What makes the race even more incredible is that he had been weighted 138 pounds, and Taj Akbar only 120 pounds. The British loved Omaha's courage.

When Omaha severed the left tendon on his foreleg while trainer, he was sent back to America to retire on Claiborne Farm. He sired seven stake winners. In 1943, he was sent to the Jockey Club's Lookover Stallion Station in Avon, New York, but was later relocated to a midwestern farm near Omaha, Nebraska. He passed away in 1959. Today, his grave can found at the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack in his namesake, the city of Omaha.

 In remembering Omaha, one man said, "In action he was a glorious sight; few thoroughbreds have exhibited such a magnificent, sweeping, space-annihilating stride, or carried it with such strength and precision. His place is among the Titans of American turf."

 I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. Omaha was a great, courageous horse, and the races he has lost are few. That says something about him. Most of his losses were by a neck or even a nose, which further shows how great he really was.

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