They do not all have to be turf winners for Chad Brown. The trainer who has made grass a winning specialty added a Grade 2 win on the dirt Sunday at Belmont Park.
Royal Flag (3-5), the odds-on favorite, went wide in the stretch to pick off the four horses ahead of her on the way to a 4 1/4-length triumph in the $250,000 Beldame Stakes, a one-turn, 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares.
By Candy Ride out of the Mineshaft mare Sea Gull, the 5-year-old winner had scored twice at the Grade 3 level before her successful step up on a harrowed main track that was rated good.
Early pacesetter Horologist (5-2) faded to finish second. Miss Marissa (17-1) was third, and Gold Spirit (10-1), also from the Brown stable, took fourth.
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The winning time was 1:50.02 off early fractions of 23.97, 48.54, 1:13.03 and 1:37.35.
Royal Flag, who broke widest in the field of eight, was bred and is owned by William Farish. Asked what might be next for her, Brown’s assistant Dan Stupp said, “I’m sure Chad and Mr. Farish will consider the Breeders’ Cup (Distaff). We’ll get her back and see how she comes out of it, and they’ll come up with a plan.”