06/29/2003 11:00PM

Storm Flag Flying hurt, likely out for rest of year


ELMONT, N.Y - Storm Flag Flying, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, will most likely miss the remainder of the year after it was discovered she had a small fracture in her right hind leg, trainer Shug McGaughey said Monday.

The injury was discovered after Storm Flag Flying was sent to the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky., on June 24. Dr. Larry Bramlage had to perform two nuclear scans to find the fracture, which is at the base of the cannon bone.

Storm Flag Flying will not need surgery. Instead, she will be hand-walked for 30 days and then hand-walked and turned out in a paddock for an additional 30 days at Bill Harrigan's Mia Comet Farm in Georgetown, Ky.

Storm Flag Flying could be put back in training as early as Sept. 1, but she would have virtually no chance of making the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita. McGaughey said there was "a very, very outside" chance that Storm Flag Flying would run again this year.

"What we're thinking about is running her at Gulfstream and re-evaluating our situation before the breeding season," said McGaughey, who trains Storm Flag Flying for Ogden Phipps.

Storm Flag Flying won all four of her starts at 2, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, to earn an Eclipse Award. This year, she was soundly defeated in her only two starts, the Grade 3 Comely in April and the Grade 1 Acorn in June.

Following the Acorn, McGaughey detected filling in a hind pastern, but initial X-rays did not reveal any fractures.