Updated on 09/17/2011 10:41AM

Bird Town flies again in Acorn

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Bird Town (right) holds off a late-charging Lady Tak to win the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont on Friday. Bird Town also won the Kentucky Oaks.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Bird Town did not spot her rivals a head start this time, but the result was still the same.

After overcoming a stumbling start to win the Kentucky Oaks five weeks ago, Bird Town had a far smoother trip in Friday's $250,000 at Belmont Park. She needed it, because Lady Tak tested her in the final yards, but Bird Town held on to win by a head.

While those two were putting on a terrific show, favored Storm Flag Flying, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, was struggling at the back of the pack. After racing just behind the early leaders while along the inside, Storm Flag Flying sucked back to last, then passed just the overmatched Kitty Knight in the shadow of the wire to finish sixth of seven.

"At the half-mile pole, I had no horse," said John Velazquez, who rode Storm Flag Flying.

Bird Town ($7.30) covered the one-turn mile in 1:35.29. She has now won four times in nine starts, including three of her last four, and is the 10th 3-year-old filly to win both the Kentucky Oaks and the Grade 1 Acorn. Nick Zito trains Bird Town, a daughter of Cape Town, for the Marylou Whitney Stable.

Bird Town got a gorgeous trip under jockey Edgar Prado. After breaking sharply from her outside post, Bird Town pressed the pace while outside of Randaroo. Bird Town shadowed Randaroo through the opening quarter-mile in 23.41 seconds, then had a head in front after a half in 46.35.

At the top of the stretch, Bird Town put away Randaroo and kicked clear. But Lady Tak, who bobbled slightly at the start after breaking from post 2 and then had to wait for room on the turn, made a determined rally after extracting herself from traffic. She came charging down the center of the track but was too late.

"Traffic is an issue when you're behind and you have to wait," said Jerry Bailey, who rode Lady Tak. "In a one-turn mile, the 7 post is better than the 2 post. That probably made the difference."

Final Round, who rallied four paths wide on the turn, finished third, one length behind Lady Tak. House Party was fourth, and Randaroo faded to fifth.

Chapel Royal takes Flash

Earlier in the day, heavily favored Chapel Royal turned back a pesky Hasslefree and drew off in impressive fashion for a 5 1/4-length victory in the $106,400 Flash Stakes for

2-year-olds. Chapel Royal ($2.60) was part of a torrid pace duel but still drew clear and covered five furlongs in a swift 57.02 seconds. Juventus was third and Mighty Awesome last in the four-horse field. Exploit Lad and Korsakoff were scratched.

Chapel Royal is now unbeaten in two starts. He cost owners Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor $1.2 million at an auction four months ago. John Velazquez rode Chapel Royal for trainer Todd Pletcher.

- Also Friday, Almuhathir lit up the tote board in the eighth race, paying $199.50 for a $2 win ticket. His victory keyed a single winning pick-six ticket of $119,429.