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ELMONT, NY – Allen Stable homebred Civil Union‘s upward ascension continued with a game nose victory over My Sister Nat in Saturday’s $250,000 Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
The Flower Bowl is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Civil Union receiving an automatic berth in the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland this November.
Civil Union broke from post 3 under Joel Rosario at 3/1 odds and sat off toward the rear, ahead of only My Sister Nat.
Lovely Lucky outkicked the 2/1 favorite Cambier Parc to lead through the clubhouse turn and down the backstretch while posting opening fractions of :24.62, :48.93, and 1:14.36.
Cambier Parc ranged up in the far turn to take a narrow lead once she straightened for home, but Rosario tipped Civil Union out three-wide and sent her between Cambier Parc and La Signare at the top of the stretch.
Taking over at the 1/8 pole, the Shug McGaughey trainee dug deep and held off a late-rallying My Sister Nat to win the 1 1/4-mile firm inner turf route by a nose in 2:01.28.
“It was close in the end, but she got the job done,” Rosario said. “She’s a push-button filly. When you want her to go, she’s just there for you, so she makes it easy for us. She gallops and gallops and had enough left to finish. It’s nice to ride those kinds.”
Cambier Parc weakened once headed and finished fourth ahead La Signare.
Beau Belle and Lovely Luck completed the order of finish.
Civil Union’s win was her fourth straight that began against allowance rivals and continued in the River Memories Stakes and the Glens Falls Stakes (G2) last time out. The 5-year-old War Front mare improved her record to 8-5-1-1 with $396,810 earned for an owner/trainer combination that also won the 2017 running with War Flag.
“When she started off this winter in Florida, I never imagined that she would be a Grade 1 winner,” McGaughey said. “I liked her race (finishing third on January 30) and I didn’t really know what to expect. She’s progressed the right way. It’s fun. She’s a nice mare to train and nice to be around.”
Civil Union returned $8.10 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.10 to show. My Sister Nat brought back $4.90 to place and $3.20 to show, while Nay Lady Nay paid $3.30 to show.
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