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Baffert keeping quiet on Flashback
While anyone was free to speculate on Flashback's next race, Bob Baffert was tight-lipped on the issue Sunday morning, saying for the record only that the impressive 6 1/4-length winner of Saturday's Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes came out of the race in good shape and that he had "no game plan" at the moment.
"I didn't even sleep on it," Baffert said on a summer-like Super Bowl morning. "I worry about Game On Dude."
Flashback's long-range agenda, however, could include the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.
Gary Young, however, was more verbose. The candid private clocker, now in his 35th year of scrutinizing Thoroughbred workouts in Southern California, which includes his home base of Santa Anita, was not inclined to go overboard and put Flashback in the winner's circle at Churchill Downs on May 4, the date of this year's Kentucky Derby.
"I think Den's Legacy is a solid horse, but not a Derby horse," said Young, speaking of another Baffert Triple Crown hopeful who was second to Flashback in the Lewis.
"He's Had Enough (third in the Lewis, beaten nearly seven lengths) is not a very good work horse and his work for the Lewis was not good. He was getting beat on at the quarter-pole just to try and maintain his position.
"Kind of by process of elimination, anything less than what we got from Flashback would have been a disappointment. Maybe next time he runs he'll face Demonic for (John) Sadler and Curly Top and others for Baffert, who probably is going to start dividing his (Triple Crown) horses up.
"Flashback will have a lot better horses running at him when he goes for the Roses," Young added. "But did he run good? Yes. Yes he did. But (with only two starts to date) he's playing catch up like some of the others nationwide...so we'll see."
Grade 3 Sham Stakes winner Goldencents was the West Coast's three-year-old leader in the clubhouse before Flashback's eye-catching Lewis triumph. The Doug O'Neill trainee is ticketed for the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 9, a race that could attract Flashback should Baffert decide to keep the gray son of Tapit at home.
"That would be a match to look forward to," said Doug's brother, Dennis.