First-crop sires: Next wave of prospects storming in for Omaha Beach

December 28th, 2023

Since our last installment on juveniles to watch by Omaha Beach, the blueblood freshman sire has doubled his tally of winners to 22. 

At this writing, Omaha Beach ranks fourth on the North American first-crop sires’ list behind fellow Spendthrift Farm stallions Mitole, Maximus Mischief, and Vino Rosso, with about $1.95 million in progeny earnings. A flurry of starters over this weekend should push him past the $2 million threshold.

Let’s catch up with his most promising prospects, crossing the country from Del Mar to Churchill Downs and Aqueduct, and reach further afield to a well-regarded colt in Dubai. Then we’ll round up his other stakes performers and conclude with a few youngsters who are bound to break through soon.

Kopion makes flashy debut at Del Mar

Kopion, hammered into 3-10 favoritism in her Nov. 26 debut at Del Mar, proved the market right with a dominating display. Trained like her sire by Richard Mandella, she broke fast, but switched off like a pro for Flavien Prat. So relaxed was she that she dropped several lengths back in the 6 1/2-furlong dash before advancing on cue. Kopion put the race away readily and pulled clear by 3 3/4 lengths, under good handling, in 1:16.13. That performance exuded stakes quality, befitting her family tradition, and she’s been training forwardly ever since.

Kopion races for her sire’s stud home, Spendthrift, which purchased her for $270,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. The chestnut is a half-sister to Canadian champion Amis Gizmo and Grade 3 scorer Ami’s Flatter. They’re all out of the Victory Gallop mare Galloping Ami, herself a full to Victorious Ami, the dam of Canadian champion Ami’s Mesa and classic winner Ami’s Holiday.

Sandy Bottom goes 2-for-2 in Anoakia

Omaha Beach registered his second stakes winner courtesy of 6-5 favorite Sandy Bottom in the Oct. 21 Anoakia S. at Santa Anita. The Michael McCarthy filly, whose debut score was included in our prior article, showed high speed from her rail post in a wire-to-wire victory. By covering six furlongs in 1:10.55, Sandy Bottom extended her record to 2-for-2.

Umberto Rispoli, aboard for both starts, made no secret of his regard for her.

“I had a lot of faith and confidence in this filly – she has been working phenomenally,” Rispoli said. “The best part of the filly is her mentality. Everything she does she makes it look like an older filly. She does nothing like she’s two years old. Everything is looking bright for her future.”

McCarthy likewise gave his pupil high marks while envisioning her future in sprints.

“All summer long she had kind of trained like a filly that was well meant, very forward, very classy.

“I think 6 1/2, seven (furlongs) would be her limit. We will find out.”

The plan was for Sandy Bottom to target the Nov. 18 Desi Arnaz S. at Del Mar, but she’s dropped off the radar since her last work on Nov. 3. Note that the Anoakia runner-up, Tambo, just missed in a photo in the Desi Arnaz to Nothing Like You, who came back to romp in the Starlet (G2). 

Neom Beach, Landed break maidens on stretch-out

Two more daughters of Omaha Beach got in the win column once stretching out to a route.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Neom Beach ran well in a pair of sprint maidens, but her game is clearly two turns, as she illustrated on Nov. 16 at Churchill Downs. Beaten only two lengths when a troubled fifth in her 5 1/2-furlong unveiling on the Saratoga turf, she’s had both of her subsequent attempts transferred to the main track. Neom Beach was a distant second sprinting five furlongs on the Churchill dirt Sept. 28, then enjoyed the step up to 1 1/16 miles in another off-turf affair. The 0.62-1 favorite worked out a stalk-and-pounce trip with Luis Saez, appearing to idle a bit before a rival roused her to finish in 1:45.89.

A $210,000 OBS April juvenile purchase by Jeffrey Bloom, who campaigns her with The Line Racing, Neom Beach has plenty of turf influences to hint that will be her surface. Her dam, Giant’s Causey, is a daughter of Giant’s Causeway and Grade 3-winning German import Binya, from the family of Sadler’s Joy and Wolfie’s Dynaghost. 

Update: Neom Beach is entered in Sunday’s Year’s End S. at Oaklawn Park.

Landed, a closing third in her debut sprinting at Aqueduct Sept. 28, rolled in her follow-up versus New York-breds over a mile Dec. 17. Trained by Wesley Ward for Lael Stables, the 1.70-1 favorite was part of the pace mix before drawing off by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:38.37.

The $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling is a half to multiple stakes winners Venti Valentine (also Grade 2-placed) and Espresso Shot. They were produced by the Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold.

Marsoom one to follow in Dubai

Kentucky-bred Marsoom, a half-brother to 2017 Cotillion (G1) winner It Tiz Well, got his career off to a fine start Nov. 4 at Jebel Ali. Based at Jebel Ali Stables with the high-percentage Michael Costa, currently the leading trainer of the UAE season, Marsoom was the better-fancied of the yard’s runners. The booking of jockey James Orman, briefly visiting from Australia, was a tip in itself. 

The Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid al Maktoum colorbearer vindicated that assessment by flying out of the gate, settling into a measured lead, and powering two lengths clear of stablemate Turjman. Indeed, Marsoom relished the track’s famous uphill finish to complete the about five-furlong novice in :59.31.

Costa put in a good word for Marsoom in a special for Adiyat Racing Plus.

“He was very professional, very sharp and he really caught the eye,” Costa told Laura King. “He’s had a little break now as we don’t want to overface him. He’s going to be our sprinter and go to the three-year-old turf races.”

Marsoom was purchased for $125,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. His dam, the multiple stakes-winning It Tiz, by Hall of Famer Tiznow, is herself a half-sister to Canadian champion Solid Appeal.

Alys Beach garners Grade 1 placing

Alys Beach, among the maiden winners highlighted in the first installment, became Omaha Beach’s second Grade 1-placed juvenile in the Alcibiades (G1). His first, the colt Pirate, was third in the Hopeful (G1), and Alys Beach nearly added to that stat with her rallying fourth in the Spinaway (G1). Stretching out to two turns at Keeneland, Alys Beach changed tactics to set the Alcibiades pace and held on for third. She was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but trainer Tom Amoss decided to scratch her when “she was not herself in the barn” after a morning gallop, he tweeted.

Omaha Beach had another entrant in the Juvenile Fillies, although Omaha Girl’s chances were correctly reflected in her 85-1 odds, and she wound up a tailed-off last. The Amo Racing USA colorbearer could rebound back in friendlier confines at Gulfstream Park, where she scored her signature win in the Sept. 24 Hallandale Beach S. (a non-black-type event).

The Amo Racing team had better luck of late with the repatriated Launch. Already in the black-type column when Group 3-placed in Ireland, she earned her overdue maiden score at Delaware Park Oct. 18 in her U.S. and dirt debut for Jorge Delgado. The 7-5 favorite sped to the lead and romped by 7 1/2 lengths, polishing off six furlongs in 1:11.74. Like stablemate Omaha Girl, Launch is gearing up at Gulfstream.

Hot Beach, Omaha Beach’s first stakes winner who was later third in the Pocahontas (G3), collected more black-type when second in the Oct. 27 Myrtlewood S. at Keeneland. Normandy Hero, the half-length second in the companion Bowman Mill S. on Oct. 28, came back to place third in the Nov. 25 Ed Brown S. at Churchill Downs. He’s reportedly bound for Sunday’s Renaissance S. at Oaklawn Park. Charge for Gold, unplaced in both the Speakeasy S. and Cecil B. DeMille (G3), will try again in Friday’s Eddie Logan S. at Santa Anita.

Three of Omaha Beach’s recent winners have tested stakes company as well. 

Caitlinhergrtness, third to eventual Untapable S. victress Alpine Princess in her Saratoga bow, obliged next time as the 1.10-1 favorite Sept. 28 at Aqueduct. The Todd Pletcher pupil was accordingly favored again in the Nov. 5 Tempted S. over the same track and one-mile trip, but she tired to fourth after chasing the pace.

Noriskit Nobiscuit opened her account in her fourth try. Dropping from salty maiden special weights to a $150,000 tag at Keeneland, and stretching out to 1 1/16 miles, the Amoss filly promptly won Oct. 25. She was next seen in the Nov. 10 My Trusty Cat S. at a sloppy Delta Downs, where she was along belatedly for third. Noriskit Nobiscuit is an also-eligible in Friday’s ninth race at Fair Grounds. Also in the Pelican State, Prodigy Paradise prevailed first time out Oct. 6 at Delta, only to disappoint in a pair of Louisiana-bred stakes.

The three remaining winners from this fall have yet to clear their entry-level allowance condition. Bourbon Breeze overcame traffic in her convincing debut at Keeneland Oct. 6, but the Riley Mott filly checked in a troubled and distant fourth over a mile at Churchill Nov. 10. The impressive winner of that allowance, Thorpedo Anna, went on to finish second in the Golden Rod (G2). Bourbon Breeze fared better when reverting to a sprint and placing second at Gulfstream Dec. 7. Brad Cox’s Coastal Invasion, a favored debutante Oct. 29 at Churchill, ran well below that effort in her Dec. 17 follow-up at Oaklawn Park. Code Omaha, successful in his premiere in a Sept. 25 turf sprint at Horseshoe Indianapolis, has flopped in two allowances.

Knocking on the door

A dozen juveniles arguably qualify for this category, starting with two who could check the maiden box in the next couple of days.

The Amoss-trained Tipsy Runner, a half-length shy at Fair Grounds Nov. 17, returns for a similar 5 1/2-furlong turf maiden in Friday’s seventh race.

Chad Brown sends out Regulatory Risk, second at Keeneland Oct. 25, in a one-mile maiden to kick off Saturday’s card at Aqueduct

The well-named D Day Sky, sporting the silks of the Bob Lothenbach Estate, bears monitoring after placing in his last pair in noteworthy company. The Ian Wilkes pupil was a distant second to Rocketeer at Keeneland Oct. 26, and on the step up to two turns on Churchill’s Nov. 25 “Stars of Tomorrow II” program, he finished third in a maiden that’s worked out well. The winner, Track Phantom, has joined the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail by capturing the Gun Runner S., and runner-up Lat Long came back to graduate at Oaklawn Park.

Others to watch are On Command, runner-up in her Gulfstream unveiling Dec. 17 for Rusty Arnold; Allied Victory, who just missed on the Turfway Tapeta Dec. 15; Mark Casse’s Without Cause, second on the Fair Grounds lawn Dec. 14; Tis Charming from the Ken McPeek barn, second at Keeneland Oct. 22; Mandella’s Sand Bagger, third to Moonlit Sonata Nov. 25 at Del Mar; Redeposit, who’s placed in all three starts for Greg Foley; Shore War, third in her past two; Doug O’Neill’s E J Won the Cup, still winless after five tries but closest in his turf debut last out; and Triple Espresso, yet to build on his eye-catching second in the Kitten’s Joy S. at Colonial Downs.