Girl Power: Flying Connection beats the boys in the Charles Taylor Derby

Three-year-old filly becomes second Stakes winner of the day for sire Nyquist

After knocking heads with some of the best sophomore fillies in the country, Flying Connection enjoyed a bit of class relief while facing males for the first time as she rolled to a three-and-a half-length victory in the Charles Taylor Derby at Albuquerque Downs on Saturday, 30 September.

It was the third Stakes win of the year for the daughter of Nyquist, who captured the Listed Sunland Park Oaks and the Island Fashion Stakes earlier this year. Flying Connection entered the race off a runner-up finish to G1 winner Ceiling Crusher in the G3 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 2.

After breaking alertly out of the starting gate, Flying Connection was settled just off the pace in third as Charlee Mae went to the lead to set the pace. Flying Connection cruised up into second on the backstretch and through the far turn, then swept past Charlee Mae to take the lead at the top of the stretch. From there the race was over, as Flying Connection galloped home to win while under wraps.

A $250,000 Keeneland September yearling, Flying Connection was bred in Kentucky by Liberty Road Stables. She is out of the multiple Stakes winner and G1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-third Free Flying Soul, by the late Darley stallion Quiet American. Second dam Ruby Surprise won the G2 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs along with the G3 Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes at Turfway Park.

Flying Connection was one of two Stakes winners on the afternoon for Nyquist, whose son Slow Down Andy went gate-to-wire to win the G1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. Nyquist is also the sire of Randomized, winner of the 2023 G1 Alabama Stakes; Crimson Advocate, winner of the G2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot; New York Thunder, dominating winner of the G2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga, as well as Stakes winners Xigera, Johannes and Hacking It Up.