Agent Tony Matos confirmed Thursday morning that Garrett Gomez has
picked up the mount on Triple Crown contender Flashback for the Santa
Anita Derby on April 6.
Gomez replaces Julien Leparoux, who was criticized for his ride
on Flashback in the San Felipe Stakes last Saturday, in which the
even-money favorite suffered his first defeat after prompting fast
fractions on the front end in the Grade II race at 1 1/16 miles.
“We’re very excited that Bob Baffert put Garrett on this horse,”
Matos said. “They’ve had a lot of success together and we hope it
Gomez, a two-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey, a
four-time leader in national purse earnings, and Santa Anita’s 2011
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award winner, finished second in the 2009
Kentucky Derby on the Baffert-trained Pioneerof The Nile.
Matos has represented jockeys who have won the Run for the Roses
six times: Angel Cordero Jr. (Cannonade, 1974 and Bold Forbes, 1976);
Kent Desormeaux (Real Quiet, 1998 and Fusaichi Pegasus, 2000); Laffit
Pincay Jr. (Swale, 1984); and Victor Espinoza (War Emblem, 2002).
Real Quiet and War Emblem also were trained by Baffert, who captured his first Kentucky Derby in 1997 with Silver Charm.