Flashback, favored in each of his five career starts, figures to be the choice again when he runs in the Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park on opening day of the winter meet Dec. 26.
Trained by Bob Baffert for owners Gary and Mary West, the gray son of Tapit has not raced since finishing second by a head at 30 cents on the dollar to Zeewat in the Damascus Stakes Nov. 2. He drew the rail in that race, at seven furlongs, as he did in the 1 ⅛-mile Santa Anita Derby in April, when he finished second to Goldencents.
Winner of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes Feb. 2 after winning his debut race last Dec. 8, Flashback worked six furlongs Dec. 16 in 1:11 ⅖.
"We'll have Flashback, Zee Bros, and Shakin It Up [entered in the Malibu]," said Baffert, who won the Malibu in 2011 with The Factor. "I've got some others that are possible, on the bubble."
Of the 28 sophomores nominated for the seven-furlong Malibu, Baffert has eight.
"Post positions are always very important in the Malibu," noted the Hall of Fame trainer. The Factor won from the outside post, 10 of 10, when he captured the Malibu by 3 ½ lengths.
Probable for the Malibu: Bakken, no rider; Central Banker, Joe Talamo; Distinctiv Passion, no rider; Flashback, Joel Rosario; Heir of Storm, Gary Stevens; Holy Lute, Mike Smith; San Onofre, no rider; and Zeewat, Rafael Bejarano.
He's Had Enough will not run. The gray son of Tapit "has a little ankle issue" and has been sent to Sunshine Farm in Bradbury, trainer Doug O'Neill said.
There will be a double draw on Saturday when entries for the opening two days of the meet, Dec. 26-27, will be taken.