Flashback had little difficulty when making his stakes debut in the Grade 2
An eight-horse field is set for the 1 1/16-mile Lewis, which will award the
A gray son of Tapit, Flashback won at first asking on December 8, rallying
from just off the pace to score going away by 3 1/2 lengths at seven furlongs,
and entered his sophomore season as a well-regarded prospect for Hall of Fame
trainer Bob Baffert, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner. The colt lived up to
expectations when making his stakes bow in the February 2 Lewis, winning by an
easy 6 1/4-length margin, but it looked more like a paid workout than a true
indication of his ability as Flashback controlled a slow pace from the start.
His mettle figures to get tested Saturday and Flashback will likely revert to
rating tactics with regular rider Julien Leparoux. He will concede three pounds
to his main rival as the 123-pound topweight and breaks from post 2.
Goldcents will start to the immediate outside of Flashback with a returning
Kevin Krigger. Trained by Doug O’Neill, whose I’ll Have Another narrowly
defeated the Baffert-trained Bodemeister in both the Kentucky Derby and
Preakness last year, Goldencents will bring a three-for-four mark into the San
Following a scintillating 7 1/4-length debut win at Del Mar, Goldencents
displayed nice class when shipping to Belmont Park for his lone setback, a
runner-up effort behind eventual two-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby in the
Grade 1 Champagne last October. His connections decided to skip the Breeders’ Cup
and the bay son of Into Mischief concluded his juvenile season on an excellent
note, posting a convincing 1 3/4-length score in the Delta Jackpot.
Goldencents showed high speed in his first three outings, but he conceded the
early advantage when making his 2013 bow against four rivals in the January 5
Sham. He had to work harder than expected that afternoon as the 2-5 choice, but
went on to record a 1 1/2-length decision. The
speedy colt figures to be sharper for this engagement, posting five consecutive
bullet works in preparation, and Goldencents will be the one to catch if he
breaks running as expected.
Stakes winner Carving is the possible third choice in the wagering. The
Baffert trainee exits a troubled fourth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby on
Tapeta and figures to be running late with Rafael Bejarano up. Omega Star turned
in an impressive showing when easily breaking his maiden two back and the
California-bred gelding will step up to face open rivals for John Shirreffs off
a decent second in the California Breeders’ Champion on January 26. The
fast-finishing winner of that event, Tiz a Minister, is also entered in the San
San Pedro runner-up Hear the Ghost will make his first attempt at two turns
for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, and maiden winners Kochees and Salutos Amigos
complete the field.
One race after the San Felipe, a full field of 12 three-year-old fillies will
square off in the $70,000
Sweet Life winner Judy in Disguise and Blue Norther vixen Sky High Gal are top
contenders in the one-mile turf affair.