Updated on 10/13/2010 3:25PM

Fly the Flag has pedigree for wet track


ELMONT, N.Y. – It is perhaps fitting that at the bottom of the overnight for Friday’s card at Belmont reads the following: “Aqueduct winter stall applications are due November 1.”

Friday’s nine-race card lacks a true feature, and with significant rain predicted Thursday night into Friday, there is a good chance that all five races scheduled for the turf will be moved to the main track, making it appear even more like a winter card at the Big A.

The richest race on the card is the ninth, a $51,000 maiden event for fillies and mares 3 years old and up scheduled for six furlongs on the inner turf course. While trainer Shug McGaughey entered the royally bred Fly the Flag for the grass, he certainly wouldn’t be upset if the race is run over a sloppy track.

Fly the Flag is a daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of My Flag, who won the Grade 1 Gazelle and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies over wet surfaces at Belmont Park. She also won the Grade 1 Ashland over a wet Keeneland dirt track.

“She’ll like a sloppy track,” McGaughey said of Fly the Flag.

McGaughey said Fly the Flag was nearly ready to run late last year, but “she went all to pieces on me.” Fly the Flag had two works in Florida during the winter, but then went three months without a breeze from March through June. Since the early summer, however, Fly the Flag has been on a regular training schedule, beginning with a couple of breezes over the synthetic surface at the Ocala training center. McGaughey said Fly the Flag did train some on turf at Saratoga.

“We piddled with her a little bit on the grass at Saratoga, and she seemed to be pretty comfortable on it,” McGaughey said.

There are several other intriguing first-time starters in this race. Molly Malone, trained by Barclay Tagg, is a half-sister to Laragh, who won two stakes on turf and was beaten a length when third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2008. Molly Malone, a daughter of Jim Dandy winner Strong Hope, has Ramon Dominguez to ride.

Suroof, a daughter of Empire Maker, and American Plan, a daughter of Belong to Me, also are making their debuts.

Of those that have run, Grace’n Style has finished third on both turf and dirt and gets blinkers for the first time in this spot. Pin Turn looks better suited for turf. She was entered to run Thursday at Laurel.