04/22/2017 6:47PM

Bluegrass Flag flies ahead of Noble Freud in Park Avenue


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bluegrass Flag had experience, recency, and speed on her side. The only place she didn’t seem to have an advantage over Nobel Freud in Saturday’s $100,000 Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Series at Aqueduct was on the toteboard.

Despite the public hammering Noble Freud to 1-5 favoritism, it was Bluegrass Flag who was standing proudly in the winner’s circle afterward, storming to a six-length victory in the Park Avenue.

Noble Freud, making her first start for trainer Chad Brown after a private purchase, chased Bluegrass Flag all the way around the track and was fortunate to hold second by a neck over Frosty Gal. Toni Tools, Dublin Girl, Unbridledadventure and Karen Kan completed the order of finish.

The win was the third in five starts for Bluegrass Flag, a daughter of Bluegrass Cat owned by Thomas Albrecht and Vincent Fusaro and trained by Tom Morley. She was coming off a six-length victory in the Cicada Stakes, a race that did scratch down to three horses.

Bluegrass Flag and Noble Freud, who won her debut at Oaklawn on the front end, appeared to be the primary speed horses in the race. It was a matter of who wanted the lead more.

Kendrick Carmouche, the rider of Bluegrass Flag, said afterward that if Noble Freud was going to make the lead, he wanted to make sure Irad Ortiz Jr. was going to have to use her to get it.

After a bump out of the gate, Noble Freud attempted to go to the front, but Carmouche pushed Bluegrass Flag to the lead through an opening quarter in a manageable 22.71 seconds. She opened up a clear advantage through a half-mile in 45.58 with Carmouche keeping her in the four-path down the backstretch.

“We know we can run, we wanted to make Chad Brown’s horse run today,” Carmouche said.

Ortiz said he tried to get closer little by little to Bluegrass Flag, but that filly “kept on going.”

Bluegrass Flag covered the 6 1/2 furlongs ion 1:16.67 and returned $9.70 to win.

“This was probably the best performance of her career to date,” Morley said. “Before the race, it was interesting to see [Noble Freud] so strongly fancied, but we were confident in Bluegrass Flag's ability to perform today. I thought Kendrick gave her a terrific ride.”