By Sid Fernando
It’s not often you’ll find a first-year sire priced at $10,000 or less with serious commercial appeal—G2 winner Trappe Shot at $10,000 at Claiborne proved to be one with his first yearlings this year—but Hill ‘n’ Dale has one in Flashback at $7,500, and he promises to be very popular at the price. For starters, he’s a son, like Trappe Shot, of the best young stallion in North America, Tapit, who will stand for $300,000 in 2015, and he’s a G2-winning sibling to G1 winner Zazu, who was sold in 2012 for $2.1 million to Japanese breeder Katsumi Yoshida of the renowned Northern Farm. Their dam, the Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line, who has produced three stakes winners and a Group-placed horse to date, was herself sold for $2 million in foal to Tapit to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm in 2013. And if that’s not enough bling to blind, consider that Flashback’s two-year-old brother named Farraj sold for $1.6 million to Al Shaqab at OBS earlier this year, and their yearling brother was a $975,000 RNA at Keeneland in September.
Purchased for $260,000 as a weanling in 2010 by Ben Glass, racing manager for Gary and Mary West, the grey Flashback is an attractive, racy type with the developed quarters of a speed horse, more a tidy package like champion Hansen than the tall and leggy Belmont Stakes-G1 winner Tonalist for the sire; he’s deep through the girth, well balanced and muscled, with average height—the type of horse who should match easily with the general mare population on physique.
Like Trappe Shot—who’s already booked full in 2015 for his fourth year at stud, usually the difficult year—Flashback is a G2 winner who’s G1-placed, but with any luck both might have been winners at the highest level and entered stud at higher fees. Trappe Shot lost the 6-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt-G1 by a nose; Flashback was second in the 9-furlong Santa Anita Derby-G1 by a length and a quarter to the top-class Goldencents, with the third-place finisher eight-and-a-half lengths in arrears, despite Flashback suffering an injury in the running that sidelined him for seven months.
All told, Flashback won twice and placed four times from seven starts, earned $405,730, was first in the 8.5-furlong Robert B. Lewis-G2 by six-and-a-quarter lengths, won at two, won on all-weather and dirt, and was good enough to be on the classics trail despite a profile that may have settled eventually at the sprint/mile aptitude had his career continued without interruptions.
Flashback was bred by William G. Andrade, MD, and Gainesway’s Michael E. Hernon, raced for the Wests, was trained by Bob Baffert, and now stands at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale, where horses like Medaglia d’Oro and Candy Ride began their careers. There’s a lot of bang—and connections—in him for the buck.