Omaha | Horse Profile

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Omaha

The 1935 3-year-old champion was the only son of a Triple Crown winner in Gallant Fox.

Quick Career Stats for Omaha

  • Starts: 22
  • Wins: 9
  • Places: 7
  • Shows: 2
  • Earnings: $154,705
Omaha Pedigree
*Sir Gallahad III (FR) (1920)
Gallant Fox (1927)
Marguerite (1920)
Omaha (1932)
*Wrack (1909)
Flambino (1924)
*Flambette (1918)

How did Omaha win the Triple Crown?

  • The Kentucky Derby
    • Gallant Fox’s famous son was the first Triple Crown winner to employ deep-closing tactics in the Derby. Benefiting from stiff fractions (:23, :47 3/5, 1:13 2/5) that tired out the leaders, Omaha produced a strong rally around the far turn to seize command and gallop to a deceptively easy 1 1/2-length triumph. His final time of 2:05 was respectable over a good track.
  • The Preakness Stakes
    • It can be difficult to employ late-running tactics in large fields, but Omaha made the task look easy in the 45th Preakness. Reserved in sixth place while racing outside his rivals, Omaha rallied powerfully on the far turn to seize the lead, after which he drew off with confidence to dominate by six lengths. Even without being asked for his best, Omaha stopped the timer in 1:58 2/5.
  • The Belmont Stakes
    • Patience was the key to Omaha’s triumph in the 67th Belmont Stakes. Facing just four rivals, the 4-5 favorite waited in mid-pack until the homestretch approached.  Then, with a decisive burst of speed over a sloppy track, Omaha ran down the pace-tracking Firethorn (through a :12 3/5 final furlong, no less) to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 2:30 3/5.

Who was Omaha?

Thoroughbred racehorse Omaha was foaled on March 24, 1932, and he would go on to have a Hall of Fame career, which included becoming the third racehorse in U.S. history to win the Triple Crown in 1935. He was owned by Belair Stud and trained by James E. “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons.

Omaha’s Hall of Fame career began in 1934 as a two-year-old, but it didn’t involve a whole lot of winning, or any winning for that matter. The son of Gallant Fox, who won the Triple Crown himself in 1930, went winless in his first six starts, albeit he finished in the top-three of each race. He broke his maiden in the 1935 Dwyer Stakes as a three-year-old, his last race prior to the start of his Triple Crown winning streak. He would win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes by a combined nine lengths.

For winning the Triple Crown, Omaha was deemed the unofficial U.S. Champion three-year-old Male Horse of 1935, while Discovery was crowned as the most outstanding horse of the year. Following his triumphant three-year-old campaign, Omaha was sent to England in 1936, with the primary objective of becoming the first U.S. racehorse to win the Ascot Gold Cup since Foxhall accomplished the feat in 1882. While tabbed as the pre-race favorite at 11/8 odds in a nine-horse field, Omaha would fall short of his objective, finishing second to winner Quashed by a short head in the 1936 Ascot Gold Cup.

Upon retirement, Omaha’s career win-loss record was 9-7-2 in 22 starts, and he earned $154,755. His stud life saw him spend time at Claiborne Farm, the Jockey Club’s Breeding Bureau, which sent him to New York state, as well as a stint near Nebraska City later in life.

In the 1950s, Omaha would be paraded around the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack for publicity photos with young children. Omaha passed away on April 24, 1959 at the age of 27, and would be buried in the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack circle of champions. He would be inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame posthumously in 1965.

More rare photos of Omaha

Omaha and Jockey P. Beasley in 1936
Omaha and Jockey P. Beasley in 1936. (Keeneland Library Thoroughbred Times Collection) This image is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the Keeneland Library.
Omaha and jockey W. Saunders
Omaha and jockey W. Saunders. (Keeneland Library Cook Collection) This image is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the Keeneland Library.

Learn more about Omaha:

REILLY: Triple Crown head-to-head: Gallant Fox vs Omaha
Pedigree fun facts: Triple Crown winners
Key facts on Triple Crown winners
BloodHorse: Triple Crown Heroes: Omaha