Updated on 09/16/2011 8:15AM

Storm Flag Flying takes Matron

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Storm Flag Flying wins the $200,000, Grade 1 Matron at Belmont Park on Sunday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Storm Flag Flying stamped herself as a top contender for next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Sunday with a decisive 12 3-4-length victory in the $200,000, Grade 1 at Belmont Park.

Wild Snitch, who dueled with Vasquez for five furlongs, held second, one length ahead of Fircroft.

It was the second win in as many starts for Storm Flag Flying, a daughter of Storm Cat and My Flag, and owned by Ogden Mills Phipps. It was the first Grade 1 victory in New York for the Phipps family since Finder's Fee won the 2000 Acorn. Finder's Fee also won the 1999 Matron.

My Flag finished third in the 1995 Matron. She would finish second in the Frizette before winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Storm Flag Flying still displayed some inexperience in her Matron victory, but she behaved and raced much more professionally than she did in her maiden win on Aug. 18 at Saratoga.

In that race, Storm Flag Flying acted up in the paddock and was far back early before weaving her way through the stretch to a one-length victory. Sunday, Storm Flag Flying was well behaved while being saddled, and was sent directly to the racetrack once jockey John Velazquez climbed aboard.

Storm Flag Flying broke alertly and sat just off the dueling duo of Vasquez and Wild Snitch, who set fractions of 22.48 seconds and 46.05. Storm Flag Flying came three wide around the turn, ran with Wild Snitch to midstretch before drawing clear in the final furlong. She covered the one mile in 1:38.52 over a wet track labeled good. She returned $4.80 as the 7-5 favorite.

``I was pleased with the way she acted, she was great in the paddock,' said trainer Shug McGaughey, who won his third Matron in the last four years. ``We fooled her a little bit ducking her out to the racetrack instead of taking a chance on her freezing and kind of hurting somebody else's chances. Johnny says when she gets on the racetrack she's as relaxed as she can be. She ducked off her right lead when he hit her, he never hit her again, and she switched back on her right lead.'

Velazquez said he felt Storm Flag Flying did shy away when hit with the whip.

McGaughey said Storm Flag Flying would most likely make her next start in the Grade 1 $500,000 Frizette here on Oct. 5.

Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said he was pleased with Wild Snitch's performance and would most likely point her to the Astarita at 6 1-2 furlongs here on Oct. 13.

Fircroft was bumped at the break and ran into some traffic trouble turning for home. Still, trainer Rusty Arnold was said his filly go the experience she needed to go on to the Frizette.