Despite incurring his first loss when caught in what some perceived
to be an unnecessary pace duel in the San Felipe Stakes on March 9,
Flashback no doubt will be favored when he runs in next Saturday’s Grade
I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, a major steppingstone to the Kentucky
Derby on May 4.
One such expert who readily gives the gray son of Tapit another
chance is private clocker Gary Young, never short on forthright
Young took time from his busy morning schedule timing horses to give a
Reader’s Digest version of runners projected to start in the Santa Anita
Derby, winners of which have gone on to capture the Run for the Roses
nine times, the last being upstart I’ll Have Another on an improbable
wild ride in 2012.
“Hear the Ghost benefited from a really good trip (winning the
San Felipe),” said Young, just back from a scouting mission at the
Fasig-Tipton Sales in Florida, “although I don’t get to see him work (at
his Betfair Hollywood Park home base).
“I think Goldencents might be on the other side of midnight.
Super Ninety Nine, too. Tiz a Minister is a good claim, but I think he
benefited from the way Flashback and Goldencents ran like it was a match
race in the San Felipe.
“Storm Fighter is a nice horse but he got a little washed out in
his works when I last saw him. I think he might be biting off a little
bit more than he can chew.
“Power Broker is a talented horse but they might be rushing him.
He doesn’t like any dirt in his face. His post position and how the
race is run will be big determining factors with him. He’s as talented
as most of the horses in the race, but I think he might be hurrying.
“Flashback is the most talented 3-year-old we have out here. He would be the pick.”
Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Flashback, Garrett Gomez; Hear the Ghost, Corey Nakatani; Goldencents, Kevin Krigger; Super Ninety Nine,
Martin Garcia; Power Broker, Rafael Bejarano; Tiz a Minister, Joe
Talamo; Storm Fighter, Gary Stevens; and Dirty Swagg, Tyler Baze.
In other Santa Anita Derby news:
Bob Baffert said Flashback will have his final major work
“probably Monday,” while Karen Headley, assistant to trainer Bruce
Headley, said Storm Fighter is scheduled to work five furlongs Monday.
Owner/breeder/trainer Myung Kwon Cho on entering Dirty Swagg, who
figures to be the longest shot in the race at 30-1 or higher: “There’s
nothing sure in this business.”