09/10/2017 5:44PM

No surrender from White Flag in Allied Forces Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
In Sunday's Allied Forces Stakes, White Flag ran six furlongs over Belmont's inner turf in 1:07.14, just .27 seconds off the course record.

Trainer Christophe Clement has some nice older turf sprinters in Pure Sensation and Disco Partner. Now, he seems to have a solid 3-year-old turf sprinter as well in White Flag.

Following an eight-week layoff, White Flag picked up where he left off in July, outfinishing heavily favored Big Handsome to win Sunday’s $100,000 Allied Forced Stakes by a neck at Belmont Park. It was three lengths back to Proforma in third. Not only did he win, but White Flag ran six furlongs in 1:07.14, just .27 seconds off the inner course record set by Gantry in 2011.

Under Joel Rosario, White Flag was in fifth position early, as Hardened set fractions of 22.07 seconds for the quarter and 44.28 for the half-mile while being stalked by Jewel Heist.

Around the turn, Javier Castellano made a three-wide move on Big Handsome, the 1-2 favorite, and Joel Rosario moved simultaneously four-wide on White Flag. The pair were on equal terms in upper stretch and White Flag outfinished Big Handsome for the win.

"When turning for home, he was moving very well,” Rosario said. “And I got to [Big Handsome] and was trying to get a jump on him and [my horse] responded well. He was ready for me the whole time.”

White Flag returned $7.30 as the second choice.

“He won well, I thought he looked good,” Clement said. “It was a great stretch run they both had a chance to win and White Flag won.”

It was the third straight win for White Flag, who had won his two previous starts sprinting over Belmont’s turf including a win on the second-to-last-day of the summer meet. Clement said he gave White Flag the Saratoga meet off by design.

“The whole idea was to give him the summer off and have a fresh for the fall,” Clement said. “There are plenty of good races in the fall, you’ve got plenty of stakes coming up.”

Of course, many of the stakes opportunities in the fall could mean running against older horses such as Disco Partner or Pure Sensation. There are turf sprint stakes at both Belmont on Oct. 7 and Aqueduct on Nov. 25 this fall.

“That’s what I call a nice problem to have,” Clement said.

White Flag is owned and bred by Robert S. Evans. White Flag is by War Front out of the unraced dam Shared Hope, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Forestry and Cash Run.

“That horse today is a total credit to Mr. Evans,” Clement said.