Flores gets back aboard, now has Derby hopeful
By J.J. Hysell
After Shakin It Up’s powerful victory in Sunday’s Grade 2 San Vicente, trainer Bob Baffert admitted he was mad at himself.
He switched Shakin It Up’s original jockey, David Flores, for another rider, Martin Garcia in the colt’s previous race, the Hollywood Prevue. Shakin It Up finished third in that race.
“I was trying to help Martin (Garcia) out a little bit, but I put David back on and he gets along with him pretty well,” Baffert said.
Flores and the son of Midnight Lute patiently waited behind pacesetters Belvin and Caballo Del Cielo until the stretch run, when the opportunity arrived to make their move. Treasury Bill and Joe Talamo also closed fast from off the pace, but they couldn’t reach Shakin It Up at the wire.
Shakin It Up, now 2 of 4 with $139.600 in earnings, didn’t acquire any Kentucky Derby points with the win, but he’s stamped himself a candidate on the trail.
Flores said the win was reminiscent of the times he’s had exciting prospects for the first Saturday in May.
“It reminds me of the good old days,” he said. “It brings me back to a time when I was riding these kind of horses, and it’s good to be back on a horse like this.”
Flores said the Derby is “my dream that I’m chasing everyday. I still go to the mountains to keep myself in great shape because you never know when it’s going to come. You have to be prepared for a horse like this.”
When asked how far Shakin It Up can go, Flores quoted the Derby distance.
“I say a mile and a quarter,” he said. “That will be (Bob) Baffert’s job. All I have to do is do the right thing on the horse when I get on him. I want to thank Bob and Mike Pegram and all the rest of the crew; it’s amazing to be on a horse like this.”
Baffert said Shakin It Up’s next start is undetermined.
“I really don’t know (what race might be next),” he said. “He was sort of fresh today. I didn’t really have him super-cranked up for the race, but we’ve always thought highly of him, so we’ll just find something for him, I don’t know.”