Colonial Flag Earns Grade in Ontario Colleen
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 8/25/2012 7:48:48 PM
Last Updated: 8/28/2012 2:04:09 PM

Colonial Flag leads the way in the Ontario Colleen Stakes at Woodbine.
Photo: Michael Burns

Jockey Joe Rocco Jr., making his first visit to Woodbine Aug. 25, guided favorite Colonial Flag to a one-length victory in the $162,559 Ontario Colleen Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the turf (VIDEO) .

Mid-pack for most of the one-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies, 5-2 pick Colonial Flag charged through the lane after angling out for Rocco to overtake 20-1 shot Evil Kitten. The final time was 1:35.15 on firm going on the E.P. Taylor course.

Trained by Michael Matz, the daughter of Pleasant Tap picked up her first graded-stakes victory. It was her third win from six starts for owners Skara Glen Stable,  W.S. Farish, and ENL Stables.

Catherine J. Parke bred the winning dark bay/brown filly, a $475,000 Keeneland September yearling buy, in Kentucky. Colonial Flag is out out of the winning Smart Strike   mare Silk n' Sapphire.

Colonial Flag is a half sister to multiple graded-stakes winner Shared Account, who captured the 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

Colonial Flag last raced July 14 when she weakened to finish last of eight in the 10-furlong American Oaks (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park. She finished second to Centre Court in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs prior to that.

Actionontwo led a pressing Evil Kitten to the quarter pole while posting even fractions of :23.81, :47.72, and 1:11.71. Evil Kitten, ridden by Eurico Da Silva, took over near mid-stretch as Actionontwo stubbornly gave way, but the lead did not last long as Colonial Flag swept past in the late going under a strong hand ride.

Colonial Flag was angled out in upper stretch after dropping back to sixth at the quarter pole and rallied gamely.

"The last few years, Michael (Matz) has been very kind to me," said Rocco, who rode Colonial Flag for the first time in the Ontario Colleen. "He has put me on quite a few nice horses. I'm very thankful to him and the owners for giving me a chance to come up here and ride her today.

"I breezed her last week at Fair Hill and she went really nice, so I was excited to make the trip. She seemed to take to (Woodbine's course) very well. The whole way I had horse, and it was just a question of when to ask her to go."

Colonial Flag, who has competed at six different tracks in her starts, boosted her career bankroll to $188,777. She debuted at Gulfstream Park in January and broke her maiden in her second start at Keeneland. She also won an allowance optional claiming tilt at Belmont Park. All of her races have been on turf.

Evil Kitten held second by three parts of a length over the stalking Runfor Ro, with Luis Contreras aboard.

Colonial Flag returned $7.80, $5, and $3.60, combining with Evil Kitten ($15.30, $6.70) for a $132.60 exacta. Runfor Ro, $4.40 to show, rounded out a $997.90 trifecta.

Poetic Kid ran fourth, followed by Actionontwo, Solid Appeal, Pulpation, Blue Heart, Sky Dreamer, and Spirited Miss. English Sunrise and Sky High Lady were scratched by stewards.



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