Champion Storm Flag Flying Victorious in Return

Champion Storm Flag Flying Victorious in Return
Photo: AP/Equi-Photo: Bill Denver
Storm Flag Flying, with jockey John Velazquez, rides to the win at Gulfstream Park.
Champion Storm Flag Flying returned to the winner's circle Thursday at Gulfstream Park by notching a 3 3/4-length win in an optional allowance claiming contest. Redoubled Miss was second, with Keiai Sakura 1 1/4 lengths back for third. Storm Flag Flying completed the mile and 70-yard distance in 1:42.78.

Storm Flag Flying returned $3.60, $2.60, $2.20. The $1 exacta paid $6.10, with the $1 trifecta returning $34.60.

Breaking from post seven, under jockey John Velazquez, Storm Flag Flying stalked the early pace set by Keiai Sakura and Doc's Doll before taking over rounding the far turn to register a driving win.

The race was the first for the Shug McGaughey-trained champion 2-year-old filly of 2002 since finishing a disappointing sixth in last summer's Acorn Stakes (gr. I). She finished second in the Comely Stakes (gr. III) in her only other start of 2003. The daughter of Storm Cat was hampered by minor physical problems as a 3-year-old which limited her starts.

The Ogden Mill Phipps homebred was undefeated in four starts as a 2-year-old, including a hard-fought win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). As a juvenile, she also won the Matron (gr. I) and Frizette (gr. I) Stakes.

Storm Flag Flying has a career record of 7-5-1-0. She has earned $1,016,180.

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