three-time winning trainer of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), has not captured the Run for the Roses since War Emblem
triumphed in 2002. However, Baffert has an abundance of gifted soon-to-be
three-year-olds that could return him to the Kentucky Derby winner’s enclosure.
Among them is a recent maiden winner with abounding potential by the name of Flashback.
Flashback debuted at Betfair Hollywood Park on December 8, loading into the gate for the seven-furlong maiden
special weight as the even-money favorite. Facing eight rivals, three of which
had raced before, the gray colt broke cleanly from the outside, settling off after the leaders as the juveniles galloped down the backstretch. Racing wide with Julien Leparoux aboard mid-pack, Flashback gradually inched closer to the front-running contingent as
the John Shirreffs-trained Mentor Cane
set the pace.
Flashback maintained his bid around the far turn, racing wide as he gained
ground on the leaders. He accelerated impressively as the field reached the top
of the stretch, passing Mentor Cane with ease as he galloped to an easy 3
½-length victory. One of the most impressive juvenile debuts in recent weeks,
Flashback has the advantage of not only being remarkable on the track, but the
gray colt also hails from notable parentage.
A son of the affluent Tapit,
Flashback benefits from descending from the Seattle Slew sire line through A.P.
Indy. A grandson of the recently deceased Pulpit,
Flashback shares the same sire as several grade one winners, including the
champions Hansen and Stardom Bound. Tapit has been known to sire talented
juveniles, but these two-year-olds’ brilliance often dwindles after their first
year of racing. However, he has begun to endorse himself as a blossoming sire
of horses successful beyond two, including horses like Concord Point, Tapitsfly,
Tapizar, Trappe Shot, and Zazu.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Flashback’s pedigree is that he is a full
brother to the aforementioned Zazu, a multiple grade one winner. He is also a
half-brother to the stakes-winning Corinthian’s Jewel and the group
stakes-placed Art Princess. Out of the Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line, Flashback
shares the same broodmare sire as the graded stakes-winning Guys Reward, as
well as the stakes-winning and multiple graded stakes-placed Wynning Ride.
Doubt may exist concerning the question of whether Flashback can be victorious
at classic distances or not, but the presence of horses like A.P. Indy,
Pleasant Colony, and Unbridled within just the first three generations of his
pedigree suggest that he may be able to find success in races beyond nine
furlongs. Flashback certainly could also benefit from the sire of his
stakes-winning third dam: Nijinsky II. A Canadian-bred, Nijinsky II is the last
horse to win the English Triple Crown.
Like any gifted two-year-old, Flashback has a long, trialing road ahead of him
if he is to be pointed towards the 2013 Triple Crown. But this young colt
certainly holds plenty of promise and with the combination of racing talent and
a noteworthy pedigree that he possesses, Flashback could certainly prove to
before a force on the road to Thoroughbred racing’s most exciting series.