War Front’s War Flag Causes Flower Bowl Surprise

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8th at BEL, $500kGI Flower Bowl Inv. S. (1 1/4m)Winner: War Flag, f, 4 by War Front

War Flag (2) | Susie Raisher

Stepping up to top-level competition for the first time, Joe Allen’s War Flag was the recipient of a race shape that was significantly different than it appeared on paper and held off the more experienced Dacita to punch her own ticket to the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar in 27 days’ time.

While Zhukova (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), conqueror of the boys in the GI Man O’War S. earlier this season, appeared to be the controlling speed on paper, it unfolded a fair bit differently, as Grand Jete (GB) (Dansili {GB}), who was bottled up last time in the closing stages of Dacita’s GI Beverly D. S. success, took the early initiative and took up the running, relegating Zhukova to a stalking second. War Flag more or less fell into a perfect spot behind those dueling front-runners, while Dacita took up a position one from the rear. The pace was not breakneck by any stretch, but neither was Grand Jete allowed any breathers and a third internal quarter-mile in :23.34 for a composite six-furlong clocking of an above-par 1:12.60 would have had Jose Oritz smiling as the Flower Bowl field hit the far turn. The leading rider hit the accelerator on War Flag at the five-sixteenths and they loomed boldly three wide as Dacita followed that move into the lane. Zhukova was the first beaten and though Grand Jete battled on gamely at the inside and led into the final half-furlong, but War Flag grabbed her with 70 yards to go and held sway as Dacita took a dive at her late.

“[Winning trainer] Shug [McGaughey] told me to ride it like it comes up. If she’s on the lead, she’s on the lead; if she’s second, she’s second; if she’s third, third,” said Ortiz, who swept the day’s Grade I features. “It was a perfect setup for me. I sat right behind them and when I was ready to move, I got clear on the other side. It was a small field, I had no problems.”

Winner of three of five in France for Jean-Claude Rouget, including a Group 3 in her European finale, War Flag annexed a Monmouth allowance in June ahead of a runner-up effort in the GIII Matchmaker S. July 30. She was most recently third as the favorite in the 11-furlong GIII Glens Falls S. at Saratoga Sept. 2.

Pedigree Notes:

War Flag becomes the 16th individual Grade I/Group 1 winner for her sire, a collection that includes her full-brother Helene Super Star, the former Lines of Battle, who won the G1 Champions and Chater Cup in Hong Kong. In addition to her black-type winning half-siblings listed in the chart, War Flag is also kin to the unraced Photograph (Unbridled’s Song), the dam of French Group 3 winner War Dispatch (War Front), who was also third in the 2015 G1 Prix du Jockey Club; and GSP George Patton (War Front). War Flag’s second dam produced none other than the influential sire Dynaformer and his half-sister Alvear (Seattle Slew), the dam of GISW Offlee Wild (Wild Again). Andover Way’s half-brother was GSW & MGISP Darby Creek Road (Roberto). Black Speck was barren to War Front in 2015 and 2016, foaled a colt by Uncle Mo this year and is reported to have been bred to both stallions in 2017.

Sunday, Belmont Park
FLOWER BOWL S.-GI, $500,000, BEL, 10-8, 3yo/up, f/m,
1 1/4mT, 2:00.26, fm.
1–WAR FLAG, 119, f, 4, by War Front
1st Dam: Black Speck, by Arch
2nd Dam: Andover Way, by His Majesty
3rd Dam: On the Trail, by Olympia
1ST GRADE I WIN. O-Allen Stable, Inc.; B-Joseph Allen (KY);
T-Claude R. McGaughey III; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $300,000. Lifetime
Record: GSW-Fr, 9-5-3-1, $454,660. *Full to Lines of Battle,
Hwt. at 3 UAE Free Hand at 9 1/2-11f & GSW-UAE, Ch. Stayer
& G1SW-HK, SW & GSP-Ire, $2,647,223; 1/2 to Homebound
(Dixie Union), GSW-Fr, $190,258; Blue Exit (Pulpit), SW-Fr &
GSP-US, $178,178; Battle Paint (Tale of the Cat), G1SP-Fr,
$187,188. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Dacita (Chi), 123, m, 6, by Scat Daddy
1st Dam: Daja (Chi), by Seeker’s Reward
2nd Dam: Dadiva II (Arg), by Saint Sever (Fr)
3rd Dam: Abide (Arg), by Good Manners
O-Sheep Pond Partners & Bradley Thoroughbreds; B-Haras
Paso Nevado (CHI); T-Chad C. Brown. $100,000.3–Grand Jete (GB), 119, f, 4, by Dansili (GB)
1st Dam: Modern Look (GB), by Zamindar
2nd Dam: Prophecy (Ire), by Warning (GB)
3rd Dam: Andaleeb, by Lyphard
O/B-Juddmonte Farms (GB); T-Chad C. Brown. $50,000.
Margins: HD, 1, NK. Odds: 9.60, 4.00, 1.10.
Also Ran: Beauly (GB), Guilty Twelve, Zhukova (Ire).
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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