Gomez takes over on Flashback

Agent Tony Matos confirmed Thursday morning that Garrett Gomez has picked up the mount on Triple Crown contender Flashback for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

Gomez replaces Julien Leparoux, who was criticized for his ride on the sophomore son of Tapit in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes last Saturday, in which the even-money favorite suffered his first defeat after prompting fast fractions on the front end while going 1 1/16 miles.

"We're very excited that [trainer] Bob Baffert put Garrett on this horse," Matos said. "They've had a lot of success together and we hope it continues."

Gomez -- a two-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey, a four-time leader in national purse earnings and Santa Anita's 2011 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award winner -- piloted the Baffert-trained Lookin at Lucky to three Grade 1 victories prior to a sixth-place finish in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.

Flashback opened his career under Leparoux with a 3 1/2-length score against maiden special weight rivals on December 8 at Hollywood Park going seven furlongs. The gray colt stretched out to 8 1/2 furlongs for the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis in his three-year-old bow on February 2 before his tough-beat nose second in the San Felipe last out.