By Jessica Martini
New Yorkers have grown accustomed to having a Flay in the winner’s circle, with celebrity chef Bobby Flay counting last year’s GI Belmont S. among his high-profile Empire State victories, but it was a different member of the family celebrating when Coffee Crush (Medaglia d’Oro) cruised home to her maiden-breaking score at Aqueduct Sunday. The juvenile filly is the first, and currently the only, horse in the racing stable of Flay’s daughter Sophie.
“This is the first horse to run in my name, so it was very exciting for me and my family,” Sophie Flay said Sunday afternoon.
Flay, a college student in California majoring in broadcast and digital journalism, wasn’t able to make it to Aqueduct for the race, but was impressed by what she saw of the performance.
“This was only her second race and she broke her maiden,” Flay said. “As far as I’m concerned, she looked amazing. I am really happy with the outcome.”
Explaining how Coffee Crush came to be running in her name, the 21-year-old said, “My dad had the filly and he just said to me, ‘Sophie I want to put your name on Coffee Crush.'”
Bobby Flay’s colors have been carried to victory by Grade I winners Dame Dorothy (Bernardini) and Her Smile (Include) and he teamed with WinStar Farm to win the 2016 Belmont with Creator (Tapit). His passion for racing has clearly been passed on to his daughter.
“I’ve grown up around racing and I’ve definitely developed a love of racing from him,” Sophie Flay said. “It only grows the more I end up at the track.”
Asked if she expects to become more involved in the sport, Flay said, “I would definitely love to get more involved, but when you start out you don’t want to be overwhelmed. I’m learning new things every day and I would definitely love to be more involved, but you’ve got to take it slow.”