07/26/2006 12:00AM

All Flags Flying tough to catch


Friday's feature at the Sonoma County Fair could be the perfect spot for All Flags Flying to steal a victory. A one-mile allowance race on Santa Rosa's turf course, the feature has a field of seven, and All Flags Flying is a threat to lead all the way.

A 5-year-old mare, All Flags Flying was claimed by trainer Kent Molinaro for $25,000 from her last start May 4, when she finished third after setting an opening half in 44.44 seconds in a five-furlong turf race.

Molinaro has taken his time bringing All Flags Flying back, giving her only one work from May to July.

"When I first got her, she wouldn't eat," he said. "She ran hard the day we claimed her. She didn't bounce back quickly."

All Flags Flying has looked better in the past few weeks, putting in three works, including a seven-furlong work July 17 designed to prepare her to handle the mile in her return.

There is one obstacle standing between All Flags Flying and a wire-to-wire victory: Highly Quick, who is drawn outside All Flags Flying. Highly Quick also has good early speed and will prevent All Flags Flying from getting an uncontested lead. A winner of two of four starts, Highly Quick will make her first start around two turns and first start on turf.

All Flags Flying is also winless on the turf, but she does have two third-place finishes in three turf starts. One of the thirds came at a mile on the turf at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet in 2004. In her only other start at one mile, she finished second.

Molinaro is deadly when he sends out a fresh horse. He is also effective when he stretches horses out.

Friday's 12-race card will have a special 2:15 p.m. first post.