Falcon Flight Ends Losing Skid, Equals Track Record in Stars and Stripes

Falcon Flight matched the Arlington Park record for 1 1/2 miles in winning the $190,500 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday. Falcon Flight, ridden by Rene Douglas, covered 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.86 and paid $8, $4.60, and $3.

Falcon Flight was in the middle of the pack through the first mile and made his move on the final turn. He swung off the rail at the top of the stretch, collared pacesetter Langston, and then flew home while pulling away to the 2 3/4-length victory.

"I was able to tuck in behind horses and I wanted him to relax," Douglas said. "When I was able to do that, he relaxed the whole way. I had a perfect trip and had a lot of horse left."

Langston finished second under Earlie Fires, with last year's winner Williams News another 3 1/2 lengths back in third. Three Wonders, Chorwon, Dixie's Crown, Ivars Big Peaceful, Lonely Place, Al's Dearly Bred, Profit Option, and Hesiode completed the order of finish.

French-bred Falcon Flight earned $96,300 for the win, the fourth of his career and first in over a year. His last win came at Santa Anita last April, when he won the El Rincon Handicap (gr. IIT). In his recent race prior to the Stars and Stripe win, Falcon Flight finished fifth in Bienamado's Charles Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT). That race also produced Sunday's United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) winner Senure, who was second in the Whittingham. Falcon Flight is trained by Donald J. Burke II for owner Gary A. Tanaka. Petra Bloodstock Agency, who also bred Sunday's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) winner Mirio, bred Falcon Flight (Persian Bold--Flying Circus, by Gay Mecene).

Langston returned $6.80 and $4.40. Defending champion Williams News paid $2.80 to show. The winning exacta combination returned $46.80. (Chart, Equibase)