Sunday, March 24, 2013

Omaha, third Triple Crown Winner, Foaled at Clairborne Farm

Omaha and jockey Willie "Smokey" Saunders at Belmont in 1935
March 24, 1932 (81 years ago today): Omaha, son of Gallant Fox, was foaled at the Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.  Omaha would go on to win the Triple Crown in 1935, thus creating the only father/son pair to both win the Triple Crown to date.

Like his father before him, Omaha was bred and owned by William Woodward, Sr., the former owner of the Belair Stud Farm.  After being sent to Belair as a yearling, he followed in his father's footsteps by entering Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons' training program at the Aqueduct Race Track.  Omaha won only a single race as a two-year old, but he showed promise.  He matured over the winter.  Omaha grew to be larger than Gallant Fox, and he sometimes required a double stall in order to be comfortable.  As a three year-old, Omaha frequently showed bursts of speed, earning him the nickname the Belair Bullet.  He was paired with jockey Willie "Smokey" Saunders.  In the Kentucky Derby, Omaha ran against Nellie Flag, who was ridden by 19 year-old jockey Eddie Arcaro.  Arcaro would later win two legs of the Triple Crown while riding Belair Stud's Nashua in 1955.  On June 8, 1935, Omaha won the Belmont Stakes by a length and a half, thus becoming the third Triple Crown winner overall and the second Triple Crown Winner for Woodward and his Belair Stud Farm.

Special thanks to Kimberly Gatto for compiling this information in her book, "Belair Stud:  The Cradle of Maryland Horse Racing" (available at the Belair Stable Museum and

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