Omaha (horse)

Omaha (horse)
Sire Gallant Fox
Grandsire Sir Gallahad III
Dam Flambino
Damsire Wrack
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1932
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Claiborne Farm
Owner Belair Stud
Trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons
Record 22:9-7-2
Earnings $154,755
Major wins

Arlington Classic (1935)
Dwyer Stakes (1935)
British Queen's Plate (1936)

American Classic Races:
Kentucky Derby (1935)
Preakness Stakes (1935)
Belmont Stakes (1935)
3rd U.S. Triple Crown Winner (1935)
U.S. Champion 3-Year-Old Male Horse (1935)
U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1965)
#61 - Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on September 15th, 2006

Omaha (March 24, 1932–April 24, 1959) was a United States thoroughbred horse racing champion.

Foaled at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, he was the son of 1930 U.S. Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox and the mare Flambino. Omaha was the third horse to win the Triple Crown having won as a three-year-old in 1935.

Omaha was an unlikely champion. Like his father, as a two-year-old he was less than spectacular, winning just once in nine races. In four of the nine races, Omaha finished out of the money. During the winter, however, the horse filled out and began to look like a champion and he won the three Triple Crown races easily.

The horse was owned by William Woodward, Sr.'s famous Belair Stud in Bowie, Maryland and was trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons who also trained Omaha's sire to the Triple Crown. He was ridden by Canadian jockey Smokey Saunders.

Racing in England

In January 1936, amidst great fanfare, Omaha was loaded aboard the RMS Aquitania and shipped to England where he made four starts, winning twice and finishing second twice. On May 30, he won the Queen's Plate at Kempton Park Racecourse. On June 18, in front of an estimated at 200,000 spectators, Omaha lost the 2.5 mile (4 km) Ascot Gold Cup by a head to the filly, Quashed. In his only other defeat in England, he ran second by a neck in the 1½-mile Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse.

At stud

Retired to stand at stud at Claiborne Farm, he failed to perform satisfactorily and in 1943 was turned over to the Jockey Club's Breeding Bureau, which sent him north to a stud farm in New York State where he remained for seven years. He was then moved west in 1950 to Nebraska, where he lived out the last nine years of his life on a farm near Nebraska City, about 45 miles (72 km) south of the city of Omaha. During the 1950s, the Triple Crown winner was often taken to the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack in Omaha and paraded about the infield as a promotional stunt. Photos were taken of Omaha with two or three small children upon his old bent back while he chewed on an apple or a carrot. When the gate bell rang to begin a race, the old campaigner would lift his head and lope forward down the track inside the rail (to the delight of the fans), as if reliving his glory days from decades ago.

When Omaha died in 1959 at the age of 27, he was buried in the Circle of Champions at the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack (not substantiated, some say he was buried under the grandstands, some say he never came to this track, at which he never raced, at all).Omaha was not considered a great sire although four generations later, his blood ran through the veins of the great British champion Nijinsky II. Three Kentucky Derby champions are third great grandsons of Omaha.

In 1965, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In The Blood-Horse ranking of the top 100 thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, Omaha was ranked #61. And yet he never received the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year even as a Triple Crown winner. In 1935, that honor went to another future Hall of Famer, Discovery.

Pedigree of Omaha
Gallant Fox
Sir Gallahad Teddy Ajax
Plucky Liege Spearmint
Marguerite Celt Commando
Maid of Erin
Fairy Ray Radium
Wrack Robert Le Diable Ayrshire
Rose Bay
Samphire Isinglass
Flambette Durbar Rabelais
La Flambee Ajax


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