04/17/2003 11:00PM

Storm Flag Flying upset in season debut


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In a stunning defeat, Storm Flag Flying, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, finished second in Friday's Grade 3, $107,900 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct, beaten 5 1/2 lengths by Cyber Secret.

It was Storm Flag Flying's first career defeat after having won four starts last year.

A staggering $1,306,144 was bet to show on Storm Flag Flying, the 1-5 favorite, who was running for the first time since winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 26. The total show pool was $1,370,849. The favorite created a $236,737 minus show pool and a $2,626 minus place pool.

Down the backside of the mile Comely, Storm Flag Flying, ridden by John Velazquez, secured a position between pacesetter Cyber Secret and Bonay. After a half-mile in 45.35 seconds, Velazquez got into Storm Flag Flying, but didn't receive a strong response. Bonay actually passed Storm Flag Flying around the turn.

Velazquez worked hard on Storm Flag Flying with a right-handed whip in the stretch, but she was no match for Cyber Secret, who remained well clear.

Bonay finished third, three lengths behind Storm Flag Flying. Glorious Jenna and Xtra Heart completed the order of finish.

Cyber Secret ($9), ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, covered the distance in 1:35.97 over a fast track.

Shug McGaughey, who trains Storm Flag Flying for the Phipps family, said the filly's first race back was the one he was most nervous about.

"I'm not entirely shocked," McGaughey said. "We got something to work with from this race. We just weren't good enough today, but she will be later on."

Velazquez said, "She was steady, steady, steady, but she just didn't have that explosive kick."

McGaughey said he would not run Storm Flag Flying in the Kentucky Oaks. He mentioned Belmont Park's $200,000 Nassau County on May 10 and the $250,000 Acorn on June 6 as possible races for her.

Cyber Secret, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., won the Grade 3 Cicada in her start previous to the Comely.

"I wasn't expecting something like this," Dutrow said of the ease of Cyber Secret's victory.