03/01/2013 3:24PM

Santa Anita: Flashback taking Leparoux's winter to another level

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Flashback will try for a second consecutive graded stakes win in the San Felipe.

ARCADIA, Calif. – In his first winter of riding in California full time, jockey Julien Leparoux has found the dream mount on top 3-year-old Flashback.

The winner of the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths in his stakes debut at Santa Anita on Feb. 2, the undefeated Flashback will start as a favorite in the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes over 1 1/16 miles March 9. The race is a prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

“We got lucky to pick up the horse in my first winter,” Leparoux said at Santa Anita on Friday.

Owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Bob Baffert, Flashback won his debut in a maiden race over seven furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 8. Leparoux was aboard for that race and was impressed that the colt won even though the distance was not ideal.

“The first time, I thought he was the best, but the distance was too short,” Leparoux said. “In the two-turn race, you could take more time, and he finished up stronger.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Flashback is part of a projected field of eight for the Grade 2 San Felipe. The race will include Goldencents, who won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes over a mile here Jan. 5. Last fall, Goldencents was second to 2012 champion 2-year-old Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in October and won the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes in Louisiana in November.

Other probable starters are Hear the Ghost, Kochees, Omega Star, Salutos Amigos, Tiz a Minister and possibly Den’s Legacy. Tiz a Minister and Omega Star were first and second in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes here Jan. 26. On Friday at Hollywood Park, Tiz a Minister worked six furlongs in 1:14.