Santa Anita News
ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES QUOTES
JULIEN LEPAROUX, FLASHBACK, WINNER: “I think he’s still a little green, it was an easy race, we won easy, and this is a nice horse. If he keeps improving, I think he has a bright future.”
(This is Flashback’s first time going long; how was he switching leads?)
“He was great changing leads, even on the backside he switched to his right lead right away. I had no problem with that.”
(Can you compare Flashback to Union Rags at all?)
“Not yet. I think he will improve off this race, and I can’t wait to ride him next time out. Many thanks to Bob Baffert and the owner. It’s a pleasure to ride these kind of horses.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, DEN’S LEGACY, SECOND: “I just wanted to get away in good shape. I outbroke the gray horse (Flashback) but we all know the gray horse is faster than my horse. We got up there but the gray horse set his own fractions and was able to go slow enough . . . It’s kind of hard to out kick a nice horse, especially when you go 48 and change (48.69).”
MARIO GUTIERREZ, HE’S HAD ENOUGH, THIRD: “Oh yeah, we had a good trip. He was running comfortable and the pace wasn’t that bad. We did what we had to do--we pressured, we pressured, we pressured and were waiting to sprint at the end, and we just didn’t have it. Everything went pretty good--no trouble or anything. He ran his race.
“The horse has a good future. There’s just a lot of speculation from the public. But what are the odds for the same owner, same trainer and same jockey to do it again? It’s more than 100 to 1. But we’re trying and the horse is good, and he ran good today.”
BOB BAFFERT, FLASHBACK, WINNER, AND DEN’S LEGACY, SECOND: Asked if he wished the Kentucky Derby was tomorrow: “No, he’s not ready yet . . . We were hoping he would do something like that, but when a horse came to him, he pinned his ears a little bit. He’s still pretty green. You can actually put him wherever you want him.
“They were going pretty slow early but I think he’ll get something out of that race. As far as distance, it’s not a problem. He has speed; he has tactical speed, but I don’t think he’s the kind of horse that needs to be on the lead or anything like that.
“Right now, I don’t know (the next race). I’ll speak with Gary (West), we’ll just figure out a plan for him and just keep him healthy. That’s the main plan right now. Right now I can’t think that far ahead . . . I just have to keep him healthy and keep him going forward. We knew he was a special horse, and to win the Robert B. Lewis is really a sentimental win for me because he was one of the greatest owners in the sport. It brings back a lot of good memories.
“I want to thank Gary and Mary West for putting a monster like this in my lap. It makes it more fun when you have a horse like this.”
NOTES: The Lewis is a Kentucky Derby qualifying race, with points awarded to the first four finishers as follows: 10, 4, 2, 1. Winning owners Gary and Mary West are from Omaha, Nebraska.