The Bob Baffert-trained Flashback drew post position No. 1 for Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby and was installed as the 9-5 favorite in a nine-horse field.
"I really don't like the one hole," Baffert said after Wednesday's draw for the 1 1/8-mile test.
Flashback, a gray 3-year-old son of Tapit, finished second at Santa Anita in the March 9 San Felipe Stakes behind Hear The Ghost after getting into a speed duel with Goldencents. It has resulted in Baffert switching jockeys — Garrett Gomez will replace Julien Leparoux on Flashback.
The rail position will increase the pressure on Gomez to make a judgment on how best to put Flashback into a comfortable position, because there once again will be several horses with lots of speed in the race.
Goldencents, the fourth-place finisher in the San Felipe, will break from No. 5 under jockey Kevin Krigger.
Hear The Ghost is the 5-2 second choice and will break from the No. 2 position with Corey Nakatani riding. Nakatani, 42, has great confidence that Hear The Ghost can repeat his come-from-behind performance from the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe.
"This is a mile-and-one-eighth test that separates the men from the boys," Nakatani said.
Baffert has two other horses entered in Power Broker, making his first start since Nov. 3, and Super Ninety Nine, who finished fifth in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 13.
For the first time, all nine entrants will be under round-the-clock 72-hour security surveillance.
All involved have their eyes on the May 4 Kentucky Derby. The Santa Anita Derby winner will receive 100 points as part of the new system that awards points for Derby prep races in trying to determine the 20 Kentucky Derby starters. Second place gets 40 points, third place 20 and fourth 10.