Flashback, second as the even-money favorite in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, will miss the Kentucky Derby due to a chip in his right knee, trainer Bob Baffert reported Sunday night.
The gray son of Tapit will have surgery to remove the chip and is expected to make a full recovery. Baffert revealed that Flashback should return to training in 60 days in preparation for a return to the races later this year.
Always highly regarded, Flashback has been favored in each of his four career starts. After a 3 1/2-length score in his December 8 premiere at Hollywood Park, he romped by 6 1/4 lengths in the February 2 Robert B. Lewis in his stakes and two-turn debut.
Flashback suffered his first loss when second in the March 9 San Felipe, the victim of a wicked speed duel. He subdued pace rival Goldencents, only to be nailed late by Hear the Ghost. In the aftermath, jockey Julien Leparoux lost the mount aboard Flashback.
The Santa Anita Derby was to feature a rematch, but Hear the Ghost was himself knocked off the trail by a knee injury on Thursday. Flashback got the desired tracking trip with new rider Garrett Gomez, but he could not reel in Goldencents and settled for the runner-up spot, beaten 1 1/4 lengths.
Flashback, who has compiled a mark of 4-2-2-0, $357,000, ranked seventh on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" Leaderboard with 70 points.