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Gomez takes over the mount on Flashback

Flashback will have a new rider for the Santa Anita Derby (Benoit Photos)

Agent Tony Matos confirmed Thursday morning that Garrett Gomez has picked up the mount on Triple Crown contender Flashback for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

Gomez replaces Julien Leparoux, who was criticized for his ride on the sophomore son of Tapit in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes last Saturday, in which the even-money favorite suffered his first defeat after prompting fast fractions on the front end while going 1 1/16 miles.

"We're very excited that (trainer) Bob Baffert put Garrett on this horse," Matos said. "They've had a lot of success together and we hope it continues."

Gomez -- a two-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey, a four-time leader in national purse earnings and Santa Anita's 2011 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award winner -- piloted the Baffert-trained Lookin at Lucky to three Grade 1 victories prior to a sixth-place finish in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.

Flashback opened his career under Leparoux with a 3 1/2-length score against maiden special weight rivals on December 8 at Hollywood Park going seven furlongs. The gray colt stretched out to 8 1/2 furlongs for the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis in his three-year-old bow on February 2 before his tough-beat nose second in the San Felipe last out.

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