Longines Distaff Division
BreederW. S. Farish
SireCandy Ride (ARG)
Quiet consistency has been the hallmark for Royal Flag as the daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) has not been worse than third in her 12 career starts. In the wake of her statement-making triumph in the Beldame Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park Oct. 10, the William S. Farish homebred now will get the chance to make some noise in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
A half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Catalina Cruiser, Royal Flag scored her first career graded stakes victory when she captured the 2020 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct last November. The 5-year-old chestnut mare has since added two more graded triumphs to her ledger, taking the Shuvee Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course July 25 and posting an eye-catching 4 ¼-length win in the 1 1/8-mile Beldame after rating off the leaders in fifth as the field raced down the backside.
“This year she’s obviously taken a big step forward,” Dan Stupp, assistant to trainer Chad Brown, said after the Beldame. “She’s trained better than ever and she’s been to all of our divisions. Everyone has done a great job of developing her. I’m sure the Farishes are thrilled with her progress as well and the black type that Chad has been able to develop into her.”
Proving she doesn’t need to take her racetrack with her, Royal Flag has notched her six career victories at five venues: Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs, Saratoga and Belmont. In her lone try against Grade 1 company, she was only beaten a little more than a half-length by divisional leader Letruska while finishing third in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 28.
“When she passes horses, she can hang a little bit,” jockey Joel Rosario said of Royal Flag after the Beldame. “I feel like if I get her away from them, she's more focused at that point.”