Race of the Week 2017

Flashback: A Star on the Rise

Bob Baffert, 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.


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Older Comments about Flashback: A Star on the Rise...

Watch out for this guy on the Arkansas circuit..Ala Bode..Secret Circle,,The factor....
I loved Mentor Cane in the race, and he looked a little like his lanky legs caught up to him those last few strides. Either way, both looked very good coming out of the race.
Belvin may prove to be stakes quality . waiting for his second start for baffert. two nice works at santa anita since debut .
Flashback's debut was certainly was impressive, and the runner-up (Mentor Cane) will prove he isn't chopped liver either. BTW - Even though Bob was trainer of War Emblem when he won the 2002 Derby winner, he only got him AFTER War Emblem won the Illinois Derby & was sold to Prince Ahmed bin Salin.
I do get caught up in wishing a sibling will be as good as their successful brother or sister. This one impressed me, so I am hoping he becomes a graded stakes winner. As you said, trials await.
Zazu's little brother may make good ... I actually like the potential of both the winner, and the runner-up, Mentor Cane.
Wow, it is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Baffert won the Derby.

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