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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• MUM’S THE WORD ON FLASHBACK’S NEXT START
• SUPER BOWL HUNCH BET IN TODAY’S SIXTH RACE
HEALTHY AND IMPRESSIVE FLASHBACK: WHITHER THOU GOEST?
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 ¼-length winner of Saturday’s Grade II 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 I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.
Gary Young, on the other hand, 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. 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.”
Sham Stakes winner Goldencents was the West Coast’s 3-year-old leader in the clubhouse before Flashback’s eye-catching Lewis triumph. The Doug O’Neill-trainee is ticketed for the Grade II 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.
SUPER BOWL HUNCH BET: DEACON SPEAKIN’
Here’s a Super Bowl hunch bet today: Deacon Speakin’ in the sixth race.
Deacon Speakin’ is a 4-1 chance in the second leg of the $40,000 Super Bowl Starter Handicap at one mile on turf. Trained by Mike Pender for owner/breeder Paul Hagemann of Beaverton, Oregon, Deacon Speakin’ will wear the colors of the San Francisco 49ers on his silks.
By the luck of the draw, Deacon Speakin’ runs in the Baltimore Division of the Super Bowl Starter Handicap, which goes as race six. The fourth is the San Francisco Division.
“Mr. Hagemann ran the horse at Golden Gate, then sent him here for a race or two and the 49er silks came with him,” Pender said. “We never figured on running the same day as the Super Bowl, so if that’s not a hunch, I don’t know what is.”
FINISH LINES: There were eight winning tickets in Saturday’s Pick Six, each returning $13,355.60. One was purchased on track for $96 and thus eligible for Santa Anita’s 20 percent on-track Pick Six bonus, which paid $2,671.12, increasing the on-track payoff to $16,026.72 . . . Steve Asmussen, on hand Sunday morning to supervise 2012 Eddie D. Stakes winner Unbridled’s Note’s five furlong workout on Santa Anita’s fast main track in 1:02, said 2011 two-year-old filly champion My Miss Aurelia would breeze Monday, but offered no race for her next start . . . Thanks to Fed Biz running third in yesterday’s Strub Stakes, the ShowVivor number remained at nine entering Sunday’s races.