Flashback, favored in each of his five career starts, twice at odds-on and never higher than 11-10, figures to be the choice again when he runs in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on opening day.
The gray son of Tapit has not raced since finishing second by a head at 30 cents on the dollar to Zeewat in the Damascus Stakes on Nov. 2. He drew the rail in that race, at seven furlongs, as he did in the mile and an eighth Santa Anita Derby in April, when he finished second to Goldencents.
Winner of the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 2 after winning his debut race last Dec. 8, Flashback worked six furlongs Monday in 1:11.40.
“We’ll have Flashback, Zee Bros and Shakin It Up (entered in the Malibu),” said trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Malibu in 2011 with The Factor. “I’ve got some others that are possible, on the bubble.” Of the 28 Malibu nominations, Baffert has eight.
“Post positions are always very important in the Malibu,” Baffert said. The Factor won from the outside post, 10 of 10, when he captured the Malibu by 3 ½ lengths.
Probable for the Malibu: Bakken, no rider; Central Banker, Joe Talamo; Distinctiv Passion, no rider; Flashback, Joel Rosario; Heir of Storm, Gary Stevens; Holy Lute, Mike Smith; San Onofre, no rider; and Zeewat, Rafael Bejarano.
He’s Had Enough will not run. The gray son of Tapit “has a little ankle issue” and has been sent to Sunshine Farm in Bradbury, trainer Doug O’Neill said.
There will be a double draw on Saturday, when entries for opening day, Thursday, Dec. 26, and Friday, Dec. 27, will be taken.