In Juvenile Fillies, `Flag' is stormy star

Breeders' Cup notebook

Horse Racing

October 25, 2002|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - When trainer Bob Baffert, who has three horses in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, looked at the entrants for the race, he said: "Darn, she showed up. I was hoping she wouldn't."

He was referring to Storm Flag Flying, the regally bred potential star who may be the heaviest favorite tomorrow on the Breeders' Cup card. Storm Flag Flying is 3-for-3 with two Grade I victories. Her roots go deep into Breeders' Cup history.

Her dam, My Flag, won the Juvenile Fillies in 1985. My Flag's dam, Personal Ensign, won the Distaff in 1988 and retired undefeated in 13 races.

My Flag's sire, Easy Goer, was second in the Juvenile in 1988 and the Classic in 1989. Storm Flag Flying's sire, Storm Cat, was second in the Juvenile in 1985 and is the highest-priced stallion in America, with a $500,000 fee.

Storm Flag Flying arrived yesterday at Arlington from Belmont Park. Shug McGaughey, her trainer, would have preferred sending her tomorrow morning and taking her home tomorrow night.

"That's the honest truth," McGaughey said from New York before sending her off. "There's going to be a lot of attention on her, and she's liable to do just about anything."

Storm Flag Flying sometimes causes commotion in the paddock, freezing each time the jockey climbs aboard. McGaughey also trained My Flag, Personal Ensign and Easy Goer.

"Personal Ensign was just very aggressive," McGaughey said. "My Flag and Storm Flag Flying are also temperamental in a different way. They are eligible to do something dumb at any time."

Head-to-head wagers

For the first time, Breeders' Cup bettors can wager on head-to-head matchups in the eight races. Minimum bet is $2, and takeout will be 10 percent. Payoffs will depend on how much is bet on each horse. Here are the horses in each race. Bet on one, and all he or she has to do is beat the other.

Distaff: Farda Amiga vs. Take Charge Lady; Juvenile Fillies: Santa Catarina vs. Westerly Breeze; Mile: Beat Hollow vs. Good Journey; Sprint: Xtra Heat vs. Swept Overboard; Filly and Mare Turf: Islington vs. Golden Apples; Juvenile: Vindication vs. Sky Mesa; Turf: Denon vs. High Chaparral; Classic: War Emblem vs. Hawk Wing.

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