And so it begins ... the yearly march of defections of top three-year-olds from the Kentucky Derby became all too real last night with some disappointing news from the West Coast. Gary and Mary West's Flashback exited his second place finish in Saturday's Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby to Goldencents with a knee chip. The news came in late last night via a tweet from trainer Bob Baffert.
"Sorry to say Flashback (is) off (the Kentucky) Derby trail. Removing (a) small knee chip this week. (He) should be back in training in 60 days," said @Midnightlute (Baffert's Twitter handle.)
Perhaps I should have said, and so it continues. The news comes less than a week after another top prospect from California, Hear the Ghost was declared from the Santa Anita Derby and taken off the Kentucky Derby trail due to injury.
Flashback, a good looking gray son of Tapit, won the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis in only his second lifetime start, before second place finishes in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. A full brother to multiple graded stakes winner, Zazu, Flashback has a record of 4-2-2-0, with three of his four starts coming in graded stakes.
He would have gone to Louisville as one of California's top contenders for the Run for the Roses, and at the time of this news, was my top rated Derby contender on the West Coast.