By Mint Julep

Omaha Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

omaha kentucky derby winner 1935

Embark on a fascinating journey into the world of horse racing in Omaha. Learn about his impressive lineage tracing back to Gallant Fox and Flambino, which set the stage for his Triple Crown victories. Explore his early years at Claiborne Farm, as he rose to fame with notable wins like the Arlington Classic. Delve into his enduring legacy as an inductee of the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame. Discover how this legendary chestnut stallion made a lasting impact beyond just winning the Kentucky Derby – from thrilling races to spending his final days near Nebraska City.

Early Life and Family Background

Omaha, a Kentucky native born at Claiborne Farm on March 24, 1932, carried with him a legacy of greatness due to his lineage. His bloodline could be traced back to Gallant Fox, one of the most celebrated Triple Crown champions in American horse racing history. Bred by William Woodward Sr.’s esteemed Belair Stud, Omaha embodied grace and power from an early age.

Standing tall at 16.3 hands high with a striking white blaze adorning his chestnut coat, Omaha exuded elegance and strength on the racetrack. He came from a line steeped in victory; his dam Flambino not only gave birth to him but also boasted producing other illustrious champions like Flares who conquered the Ascot Gold Cup.

From humble beginnings emerged a colt destined for greatness—Omaha’s upbringing spoke volumes about dedication and passion for Thoroughbred excellence. The sprawling fields of Claiborne Farm witnessed his formative years as he galloped alongside fellow foals under the watchful eyes of seasoned trainers and caretakers.

As he grew into his potential, it became evident that Omaha possessed a rare combination of speed, stamina, and spirit—a trifecta that would pave his path towards immortality in the annals of horse racing lore.

The echoes of hooves pounding against Kentucky soil announced Omaha’s arrival onto the grand stage where legends were forged—the hallowed grounds where dreams transformed into reality amidst thunderous applause and fervent cheers. With each stride propelling him forward with unwavering determination,Omaha embraced destiny as he galloped towards unparalleled glory unmatched by many before or since.”

Introduction to Racing

Omaha started racing when he was just two years old in 1934. He came second in his first race at Aqueduct Race Track, but five days later, he clinched his very first win. Despite facing some early challenges, Omaha showed great potential by competing well in key races like the Champagne Stakes and Futurity Stakes leading up to his third year on the track.

His outstanding performances caught the attention of famous trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, paving the way for Omaha’s remarkable journey to stardom. Under Fitzsimmons’ expert guidance, Omaha transformed into a fierce competitor with an unyielding desire for victory that propelled him to success at racetracks all over the country.

As Omaha entered his third year on the track as a mature horse, excitement built around his participation in prestigious events such as the Kentucky Derby. With lineage tracing back to Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox, hopes were high for another exceptional talent emerging from this esteemed bloodline.

In 1935 at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby, Omaha put on a dazzling display of speed and endurance that left spectators awestruck. His triumph not only cemented his status among racing legends but also signaled just the start of an extraordinary journey filled with achievements and honors.

Omaha’s legacy goes beyond individual wins; it embodies resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit – qualities that define champions throughout history. As he galloped towards greatness by conquering one prestigious race after another, Omaha secured a lasting place in horse racing lore while inspiring future generations with stories of bravery under pressure and elegance amidst challenges.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Racing has a long history and strong traditions

  2. Thrilling races and intense competitions keep things exciting

  3. Skilled jockeys have the chance to display their talent

  4. A passionate fan community adds to the excitement


  1. Horses and riders face a higher risk of injuries

  2. Owning, training, and racing horses can be very expensive

  3. People have ethical concerns about how animals are treated in the industry

  4. The racing community lacks diversity and inclusivity

Triple Crown Triumphs

In 1935, Omaha’s win at the Kentucky Derby was truly spectacular and firmly established his place in horse racing history. The young colt raced across the finish line with an incredible mix of grace and determination that left everyone watching in awe of his natural talent and unwavering spirit.

After triumphing at Churchill Downs, Omaha continued to impress by dominating the Preakness Stakes with finesse. His exceptional speed and endurance set him apart as a standout among all other contenders, solidifying his status as a true champion.

As excitement built for the Belmont Stakes, all eyes were on Omaha as he aimed to secure the final jewel of the Triple Crown. With sheer brilliance on display on the track, he surged forward to claim victory once again, securing his place alongside legendary racers for eternity.

The remarkable partnership between Omaha and jockey Smokey Saunders exemplified trust and harmony in their pursuit of greatness. Together, they faced challenges with poise and unity which led them towards historic achievements that will be remembered forever.

Throughout that momentous year of 1935, each step towards glory captured hearts worldwide while leaving an unforgettable mark on horse racing history. Omaha’s legacy continues to inspire generations who regard him not just as a champion but also as a symbol of perseverance, strength, and unmatched excellence on the turf.

Major Stakes Wins

Omaha’s rise to greatness went well beyond the revered grounds of Churchill Downs. His victories in the Arlington Classic and Dwyer Stakes back in 1935 not only displayed his exceptional talent but also confirmed him as a true champion of horse racing. These wins acted as crucial milestones on his journey to becoming an enduring figure in the history of the sport, setting a precedent for future generations to admire his skills.

Throughout Omaha’s impressive career, each race represented a chapter in an exciting saga filled with triumphs and close calls that had fans at the edge of their seats. Although he narrowly missed out on winning England’s prestigious Ascot Gold Cup when he was just four years old in 1936, his performance left spectators amazed and inspired by his abilities. Despite this setback, Omaha’s reputation remained untarnished, showing that even champions must overcome obstacles on their path to success.

The excitement of seeing Omaha charge down the homestretch towards another victory sent shivers down anyone’s spine. His dominance both in America and across the pond captivated audiences globally and established him as one of horse racing’s most beloved figures. With a combination of grace and power akin to poetry in motion, Omaha became more than just a Triple Crown winner; he evolved into a symbol of excellence transcending borders.

Whether spectators were gathered trackside or watching from afar via broadcasts, they witnessed moments where sheer determination met unparalleled skill on racetracks worldwide – creating memories preserved forever through time. In rain or shine, mud or grassy fields – Omaha consistently proved why he earned every accolade throughout his remarkable career. The echoes of hoofbeats blending into cheers persisted long after each race concluded – serving as evidence to an equine legend whose spirit continues galloping within our hearts today.

Omaha: Racing Legend in Brief

Attribute Information
Name Omaha
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 James E. Fitzsimmons
Record 22:9-7-2
Earnings $154,755

International Recognition

Omaha’s journey to compete in the prestigious Ascot Gold Cup was a bold move for an American horse of his time. No U.S.-based runner had won this famous race since 1882, so the stakes were high. Even though Omaha narrowly missed out on beating Quashed and taking home the victory, he left a lasting impression on English soil. He gained admiration and respect from racing fans around the world.

His impressive performance at Ascot not only showcased his exceptional talent but also solidified his reputation as a global ambassador for American Thoroughbred racing. The thrilling showdown between Omaha and Quashed captivated audiences on both sides of the pond, showing how powerful equine athleticism can be in bringing people together across continents. While he didn’t win that day, Omaha’s brave effort went beyond just crossing the finish line – it made him a true sporting hero.

The impact of Omaha’s courageous trip abroad spread throughout the racing world, sparking discussions about international competition and inspiring dreams of future victories overseas. His legacy transcended borders, motivating generations of young equestrians to push their boundaries with determination and conquer new challenges fearlessly.

By traveling across oceans to test himself against Europe’s top horses,

Omaha embodied adventure and sportsmanship without limits or boundaries

As he returned home after his overseas adventure,Omaha carried more than memories – he brought back proof that shared passion for horse racing could bring people together worldwide through appreciation

for speed strength grace under pressure.His short presence at Ascot continues to inspire many as proof that one remarkable horse can capture hearts globally while galloping towards greatness every stride taken toward immortality

Hall of Fame Induction

In 1965, Omaha was inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame, cementing his status as a legendary racehorse and placing him among an exclusive group of top equine athletes whose names are still celebrated today. His induction not only recognized his incredible performance on the racetrack but also acknowledged the lasting impact he has had on horse racing fans worldwide.

Coming from a family line known for producing exceptional Thoroughbreds, Omaha carried with him the genes of past champions, embodying greatness every time he raced. With each win he secured, including his historic Triple Crown victory in 1935, Omaha demonstrated not just speed and endurance but also an unbeatable spirit that made him stand out as a true champion among his rivals.

The halls of fame honor those whose accomplishments go beyond mere awards to become part of history itself. For Omaha, it wasn’t just about winning races; it was about captivating audiences with his majestic presence on the track and earning a place alongside legendary horses like Man o’ War and Secretariat.

As fans come together to celebrate this magnificent steed who galloped down Churchill Downs on that unforgettable Derby day in ’35, they do so knowing that Omaha’s entry into racing history is not just a testament to one horse’s glory but also a tribute to an enduring legacy that shines brightly through time.

Uncover fascinating lore of Omaha's equestrian history

  1. ### Explore the captivating tales of Omaha's rich equestrian past

  2. **Omaha, the Triple Crown Champion**: Back in 1935, a remarkable horse by the name of Omaha clinched victory as only the third-ever Triple Crown champion. Following in the hoofprints of Sir Barton and Gallant Fox, this equine star owned by William Woodward Sr. and trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons made history with wins at prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

  3. **The Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track**: From 1919 to 1995, Omaha buzzed with excitement thanks to its beloved Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track (yes, that's Nebraska spelled backward). Hosting thrilling events such as the Ak-Sar-Ben Handicap and the revered Omaha Gold Cup race series, this track stood out as a cherished gem within Omaha's vibrant equestrian community.

  4. **Unraveling The Mystery of The Lost Bridle**: Whispers abound about a mysterious incident involving a vanished bridle during an event at the Omaha Equestrian Center—a bridle said to have belonged to a renowned racehorse! Some claim mischievous spirits whisked it away while others suspect it was all part of an elaborate prank orchestrated by rival trainers.

  5. **Tracing back To Omaha’s Wild West Roots**: Before becoming synonymous with horse racing prowess, it's fascinating to note that historical records reveal how horses played pivotal roles in Omahas' bustling Wild West era. Cowboys riding through city streets alongside pioneers and outlaws created quite a spectacle—horses not only served for transportation but also starred in rodeos and adrenaline-pumping races!

  6. **Connecting The Dots: The Legacy Of Horse Racing In Omaha**: While everyone knows about Kentucky Derby fever sweeping across America annually—it might surprise some that even before then; our very own city had deep-rooted derby connections too! Witness grand events like Cornhusker Handicap held at none other than Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track which drew top-notch jockeys and fine stallions—solidifying our place on horseracing maps across time!

Legacy Beyond Racing

Omaha made a lasting impact that went beyond just his time on the racetrack. When he retired, he transitioned to stud duties but didn’t quite match his success as a racer. Despite this setback, Omaha found comfort at Claiborne Farm before eventually settling near Nebraska City in his later years. He continued to make appearances at Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack events, captivating audiences with his majestic presence and incredible history.

After thrilling crowds with his impressive performances on the track, Omaha gracefully entered a new chapter in retirement. His time at Claiborne Farm allowed him to enjoy peaceful days surrounded by those who loved him. Switching from racing star to retired sire was an adjustment for Omaha, yet it showed his enduring spirit and resilience.

As Omaha’s life came to an end in 1959 at the age of 27, he left behind a legacy that went beyond mere statistics or records. He had already secured a place among legends and touched the hearts of all who knew about him during his lifetime. The echoes of Omaha’s victories resonated through time, reminding us that true greatness is measured not only by wins but also by the lasting influence one leaves behind.

In every hoofbeat and stride down memory lane, Omaha’s essence lingered like a mystical mist over horse racing lore. His final days near Nebraska City were filled with nostalgia and respect for a champion whose spirit soared higher than any finish line could reach. Though physically gone from this world, stories of Omaha continued under clear skies where dreams took flight alongside him once more – forever galloping towards eternity’s embrace.

Pedigree Insights

Omaha comes from a prestigious lineage, tracing back to sire Gallant Fox and dam Flambino. Notable ancestors like Teddy and Wrack have influenced his family tree, giving him a rich heritage within Thoroughbred breeding circles. This impressive ancestry didn’t just shape his racing skills but also firmly established his position among the best in equine history. Omaha’s exceptional abilities on the track can be credited to the blend of speed from Gallant Fox and endurance from Flambino.

Omaha’s bloodlines bring together two famous families in horse racing, creating a legacy that still holds weight today. The mix of champions like Man o’ War and Sir Gallahad III highlights the excellence deeply rooted in his pedigree. Each race he ran carried echoes of past victories, weaving together generations of dedication to this sport into an intricate tapestry.

More than just physical traits, Omaha inherited an intangible essence passed down through generations—a spirit of determination honed by years of selective breeding for greatness. His pedigree acted as both a roadmap leading him towards success and a responsibility carrying expectations suitable for someone destined for greatness in horse racing history books.

Lasting Impact on Horse Racing History

Omaha, known as one of America’s greatest racehorses and the third winner of the prestigious Triple Crown title after Sir Barton and Gallant Fox, is remembered for his remarkable achievements that established him among the top champions of his time and beyond.

His victory at the 1935 Kentucky Derby was a groundbreaking moment in racing history that kickstarted a successful career filled with major wins. At Churchill Downs, Omaha displayed a mix of speed, endurance, and unwavering determination that captivated audiences around the world.

Beyond Churchill Downs, Omaha continued to excel on prominent racetracks across the United States. From triumphing in races like the Belmont Stakes to dominating competitions in California, he made a lasting impact on American horse racing during an era marked by intense competition and abundant talent.

Furthermore, Omaha’s influence extended globally as he gained international recognition for his track prowess. With each step towards greatness, he carried a legacy rooted in Thoroughbred excellence that resonated far beyond mere victories or awards.


1. What set Omaha apart from other Triple Crown winners in horse racing history?

Omaha stands out from other Triple Crown winners because he is remembered as a symbol of racing greatness. He achieved prestigious victories at famous races like the Kentucky Derby and was honored by being inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame, securing his spot in history as a beloved Thoroughbred champion.

2. How did Omaha's pedigree contribute to his success on the racetrack?

Omaha came from a prestigious lineage that included the famous sire Gallant Fox and dam Flambino. This genetic background of racing excellence greatly influenced his success on the racetrack and was crucial to his victories.

3. Can you describe some of Omaha's major stakes wins outside of the Kentucky Derby?

Omaha, the famous horse who won all three major races in a single season, dominated the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes to cement his status as a legendary racer beyond just winning the Kentucky Derby.

4. What impact did Omaha have on the international racing community during his career?

Omaha solidified his international acclaim by winning the Grand Prix de Paris, which showcased his exceptional talent and elevated him to the status of a global racing icon.

5. How was Omaha's legacy honored following his retirement from racing?

After Omaha retired from racing, the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame honored his legacy as a way to recognize his lasting influence on the sport of horse racing. This induction was a testament to his significant impact in the industry.

6. In what ways did Omaha's induction into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame solidify his place in horse racing history?

Omaha's entry into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame confirmed his position in horse racing history by honoring his outstanding skills, triumphant Triple Crown win, and lasting impact as a renowned Thoroughbred champion.