Coming off three straight wins, including a victory in the G2 Glen Falls Stakes at Saratoga, Civil Union stuck to her winning-ways to become sire WAR FRONT‘s 23rd lifetime Grade/Group 1 winner. Triumphant in the top-level G1 Flower Bowl S. at Belmont Park, Civil Union has secured a berth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Out of the gate, Joel Rosario allowed Civil Union to settle near the back of the talent-packed field of seven, which included multiple graded stakes winner My Sister Nat (Fr) and Nay Lady Nay, plus two-time G1 winner Cambier Parc.
The daughter of WAR FRONT was stuck in traffic entering the final 2 1/2 furlongs, but accelerated three off the inside once fighting for a seam. It was a gritty battle to the wire against some of the toughest in the game, but Civil Union’s stride was uncatchable. The filly crossed the wire in a final time of 2:01.28 in the one and a quarter mile test on the grass earning a career best 97 Beyer Speedfigure.
This win marks the second Flower Bowl victory in the last four years for owner Joseph Allen, trainer Shug McGaughey and sire WAR FRONT, who’s daughter War Flag took the bouquet in 2017.
“When she started off this winter in Florida, I never imagined that she would be a Grade 1 winner,” the Hall of Fame conditioner told the Thoroughbred Daily News. “She’s progressed the right way. It’s fun. She’s a nice mare to train and nice to be around. She ran under some different tactics today on Joel [Rosario’s] part, but that’s why he’s such a great rider. He knows what to do.”
Bred in Kentucky by Joseph Allen, LLC, Civil Union is out of the unraced Unbridled’s Song mare, Photograph, who herself is a daughter of G1 producer Black Speck (Arch). The second dam has produced the earlier-mentioned War Flag, plus G1 winner and champion Lines of Battle (WAR FRONT). The third dam, Andover Way, produced influential sire Dynaformer (Roberto) and the dam of G1SW Offlee Wild (Wild Again).