06/29/2003 11:00PM

Storm Flag Flying out with injury

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ELMONT, N.Y - Storm Flag Flying, last year's 2-year-old filly champion, will be out until at least late fall with a small fracture in her right hind leg, trainer Shug McGaughey said Sunday.

The injury was discovered after Storm Flag Flying was sent to Rood and Riddle, an equine clinic in Lexington, Ky., earlier in the week.

"We discovered a small - and I mean very small - fracture of her right hind cannon bone," McGaughey said. "She was never late, but I knew something wasn't right. I couldn't figure it out, so we sent her to Rood and Riddle as a place to start. That's what they found."

McGaughey indicated that no surgery would be needed, and that Storm Flag Flying would be handwalked for 30 days and then turned out for an additional 30 days before being re-evaluated.

"We're hoping to have her ready for late fall or for next year," McGaughey said.

Storm Flag Flying won all four of her starts at 2 includng 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.