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Cook 1487_Omaha_Wayne D Wright up.jpg

Omaha, Wayne D. Wright up (Keeneland-Cook)
Induction Year: 
William Woodward, Sr.
Belair Stud Stable
James E. "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons; Cecil Boyd-Rochfort
Gallant Fox
Career Years: 

Tab Wrapper


Bred and raced by William Woodward, Sr., Omaha became America’s third Triple Crown winner when he achieved the feat in 1935. A son of 1930 Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox, also bred and owned by Woodward, Omaha was trained by “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons.


Foaled at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky on March 24, 1932, Omaha was moved to Woodward’s Belair Stud in Maryland as a weanling and shipped to Fitzsimmons at Aqueduct as a yearling for breaking and early training. A golden chestnut with a white face, Omaha grew to 16.3 hands and weighed in at 1,300 pounds.


Omaha managed only one win in nine starts as a 2-year-old in 1934, breaking his maiden in his second career start. He showed some promise by finishing second in the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga, the Champagne Stakes at Belmont and the Junior Champion Stakes at Aqueduct, but he was off the board in his other four starts.


After winning his first start as a 3-year-old, Omaha finished third in the Wood Memorial before contesting the 1935 Kentucky Derby. After breaking slowly, Omaha took the lead on the backstretch and came home to win by 1½ lengths ahead of Roman Soldier.


In the Preakness, Omaha was odds-on and drew off from the field to win convincingly by six lengths. Prior to the Belmont, Omaha entered the Withers Stakes and was installed as a 1-2 favorite. However, after being taken back early in the race, Omaha’s late run came up 1½ lengths shy of Rosemont at one mile. The added distance of the 1½-mile Belmont was a benefit to Omaha, as he defeated Cold Shoulder by 1½ lengths to secure the third Triple Crown, with Rosemont third, almost 10 lengths back.


Two weeks later, Discovery set a world record for nine furlongs in the Brooklyn Handicap with Omaha a distant third, 12 lengths back. Omaha rebounded to win the Dwyer Stakes and then closed out his year with a track record in the Arlington Classic (2:01⅖ for 1¼ miles). Omaha finished the year with a record of 6-1-2 from nine starts and earnings of $142,255. He was regarded as the top 3-year-old male, while Discovery was named Horse of the Year.


At age 4, Omaha was trained by Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and campaigned in England. He won the 1½-mile Victor Wild Stakes under 129 pounds and then defeated Lord Derby’s Bobseligh under 130 pounds in the Queen’s Plate at two miles. Favored in the Ascot Gold Cup, Omaha came up a nose short in the 2½-mile event to Lord Stanley’s Quashed. Omaha raced once more, carrying 138 pounds in the 1½-mile Princess of Wales Stakes. He lost by a neck in a valiant effort against the Aga Khan’s Taj Akbar, a 3-year-old carrying only 120 pounds.


Omaha was retired to stud duty at Claiborne Farm with a career record of 9-7-2 from 22 starts and earnings of 154,755. A disappointment as a stallion, Omaha sired only seven stakes winners. In 1943, he was leased to The Jockey Club’s Lookover Stallion Station in New York. Omaha was moved to Nebraska seven years later and died there in 1959 at the age of 27. He was buried in Omaha at the grandstand entrance to Ak-Sar-Ben, behind a bronze replica of his head mounted on a Triple Crown.