Updated on 09/16/2011 8:15AM

Like mother, like daughter?


ELMONT, N.Y. - Seven years ago, My Flag used the Matron and Frizette as stepping-stones to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, which she won. On Sunday at Belmont Park, My Flag's daughter Storm Flag Flying will take her first important step toward the Breeders' Cup in the $200,000 Matron.

The one-mile Matron drew seven 2-year-old fillies. Storm Flag Flying, Fircroft, and Wild Snitch figure as the key players.

Storm Flag Flying, owned by Ogden Mill Phipps, wouldn't have run in the Grade 1 Matron had a first-level allowance race filled last week. Her trainer, Shug McGaughey, preferred for the Storm Cat filly to gain more experience by running in an allowance race, followed by the Frizette on Oct. 5, and then the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.

In her career debut, Storm Flag Flying was able to make up ground over a speed-favoring track to win a six-furlong maiden race by a length at Saratoga on Aug. 18. The win came despite her racing greenly in the stretch and acting up in the paddock.

McGaughey, who has won the Matron twice, also trained My Flag, who finished third in the Matron.

John Velazquez rides Storm Flag Flying from post 2.

Fircroft also makes her stakes debut after winning a maiden race at Saratoga. Fircroft, a daughter of A.P. Indy, came from off the pace to capture a seven-furlong race by 4 1/2 lengths on Aug. 12.

Trainer Rusty Arnold said his filly lacks experience, but not ability.

"She doesn't have a lot of speed," Arnold said. "They went fast in her first race, and she ran by them easily. As good as she was at seven furlongs, I think she will be better at a mile. We are giving up experience but ability-wise, she looks good."

Pat Day rides Fircroft, who drew post 4.

Sorority winner Wild Snitch is the only stakes winner in the field. The Forest Wildcat filly won her career debut on Aug. 7 at Monmouth by 2 3/4 lengths. She returned in the Grade 3 Sorority as the heavy favorite and won that six-furlong race by 6 3/4 lengths after stalking a swift pace set by Advancing Storm, who was pulled up with an injury in deep stretch.

"She really hasn't been extended yet; I'm sure it will happen soon," said Wild Snitch's trainer, Ben Perkins Jr. "Forest Wildcats are geared to speed, but she has distance on the bottom side of her pedigree with Key to the Mint."

Wild Snitch, with Eibar Coa aboard, drew post 7.

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