Updated on 09/16/2011 8:33AM

Storm Flag Flying refuses to be denied

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Storm Flag Flying (right) comes again to take a half-length decision over Composure in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Saturday at Arlington Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - With her talent and her determination, Storm Flag Flying kept a family tradition going Saturday, coming back in deep stretch after relinquishing the lead to win Saturday's $1 million by a half-length at Arlington Park.

Composure, who had a half-length advantage over Storm Flag Flying inside the eighth pole, settled for second, 9 3/4 lengths ahead of her stablemate Santa Catarina.

Storm Flag Flying became the first third-generation Breeders' Cup winner, following in the hoofprints of her grandmother Personal Ensign, who won the 1988 Distaff, and her mother, My Flag, who won the 1995 Juvenile Fillies.

The victory was the fourth in as many starts for Storm Flag Flying - including three Grade 1's - and should have cemented an Eclipse Award for her as champion

2-year-old filly. Fifteen of the previous 18 Juvenile Fillies winners have been voted champion. My Flag was one of the three Juvenile Fillies winners not voted champion.

It was the eighth Breeders' Cup victory for trainer Shug McGaughey, but his first since 1995 when My Flag and Inside Information won the Juvenile Fillies and Distaff. It was also the first victory for the Phipps family since 1995. My Flag is owned by Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, whose father, Ogden Phipps, died in April at the age of 93. Ogden Phipps bred the filly.

"It's a big thrill for us," said McGaughey, the second winningest trainer in Breeders' Cup history. "This is all [Phipps's] breeding. To have the grandmother, the mother, and now the daughter win, it's something that's pretty extraordinary."

And she did it in an extraordinary way, too.

Under John Velazquez, Storm Flag Flying stalked the pace established by Humorous Lady, who set fractions of 23.37 seconds, 46.28, and 1:10.31. Storm Flag Flying launched a bid around the turn, in tandem with Composure, who raced to her outside. Storm Flag Flying made the lead in upper stretch, but Composure, under Mike Smith, past her at the eighth pole and appeared to be opening up. Velazquez gave Storm Flag Flying a crack of his left-handed whip, and she responded by coming back along the rail.

"She came back so quick I really didn't have time to think, well, she's beat or she isn't beat," McGaughey said. "I think it helped her when that horse came by her. Johnny said she ran really green today. He said she was looking at everything. Even going down the backside she'd run a little bit then slow down, then she'd run a little bit. It shows what kind of horse she is to be able to come back."

Storm Flag Flying covered the nine furlongs in 1:49.60 over a track labeled fast and returned $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

Mike Smith, who used to ride first call for McGaughey and Phipps, said he felt he had done everything right aboard Composure.

"I wanted to blow by her, maybe I could get the jump on her,' Smith said. "I did everything I was supposed to do. I just ran into a champion and a half I guess."

Bob Baffert, who trained both Composure and Santa Catarina for Bob and Beverly Lewis, thought he was going to win it when Composure made the lead.

"That filly had to be born the same year as my fillies, I can't believe it," Baffert said. "I thought we had it. That's a hell of a mare. That's why I was hoping she wouldn't show."