03/14/2013 12:57PM

Flashback to have Gomez aboard for Santa Anita Derby

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Emily Shields
Under Julien Leparoux, Flashback (inside) finishes second to Hear the Ghost in the San Felipe last Saturday.

Garrett Gomez will replace Julien Leparoux aboard Flashback for his next start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6, trainer Bob Baffert said Thursday morning at Santa Anita.

“It’s a tough decision, a very difficult decision,” Baffert said of replacing Leparoux, who had been aboard Flashback for all three of his previous starts.

Flashback suffered the first loss of his career last Saturday in the San Felipe Stakes, finishing second after battling with Goldencents for the first six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

“Under the circumstances, he ran a really good race,” said Gary West, who owns Flashback with his wife, Mary. “To have any shot at the Derby, you need to have a hard race, and he got that. I wasn’t thrilled with the way the race unfolded, but he came back fine and he’s doing well.”

Flashback returned to the track for training at Santa Anita on Thursday morning.

Flashback defeated maidens in his debut, then won the Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in his second lifetime start, both with Leparoux.

The first four finishers from the San Felipe – Hear the Ghost, Flashback, Tiz a Minister, and Goldencents – all are expected back for the Santa Anita Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race that offers 170 points overall, with 100 to the winner, under the new points system put in place this year by Churchill Downs to determine eligibility to the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

John Baker More than 1 year ago
Who has won more riding titles at Churchill? Dumb move bob! You will just have to settle for second again!!! Gomez is a plug
John Flynn More than 1 year ago
Julien is a Great Rider. But, Churchill Downs may be a Better Fit for Him. He does not seem to be at the level of Garrett Gomez at Present. Baffert made the Right Call - In This Particular Situation.
Justin More than 1 year ago
As an owner.. Who would you want riding your horse? GoGo or Lep? I think this is a no brainer..
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
War Academy
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Who will be the I'll Have Another of 2013? Love closers in this race...
steve milgats More than 1 year ago
DJ Manlove.....broke his maiden in his first outing :)
Randy Atkins More than 1 year ago
how bout' Vyjack...no one ever talks about him watch out???
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
if Rudy gets Gary on Vyjack that would be a winning pair, for sure!
aramtolegian More than 1 year ago
And get ready for the "Gary Stevens will replace Kevin Krigger on Goldencents" headline. What Sheaparoux and Krigger did in the San Felipe is beyond explanation. I'd expect it from Krigger, not from Sheaparoux.
Atom Bomb More than 1 year ago
Watch out for the real deal Folks..VyJack @11 -1 is a gift....and that's a fact....so stop smoking that crack and don;t get quacked at the derby! The Big V exacta Vyjack to Varrazzono...Flashback will be back in the heard when the race is over...
Scott Miller More than 1 year ago
vyjack too short for the derby distance...bad bet
Randy Atkins More than 1 year ago
s-hhhhhh...hey man don't tell everyone...I want a price on Vyjack...this dude is for real, but don't count on Verazano to run second....there's a couple of Florida Derby horses that will be right there at the finish
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
As the message board posts last weekend predicted, BB made the jockey change. What about Goldenscents? He deserves another shot with another jockey, IMO,
Allen Musicant More than 1 year ago
they should never have put flashback in the disadvantage of a foot race for the whole distance. he is fast but needed to be rated. his legs were gone mid stretch he needed to stay 3rd or 4th and actually start his final move at the same time as hear the ghost. maybe gomez can make sure he is not used up by top of the stretch. flashback was my 2nd choice to win it all behind violence.