Royal Flag comes from a family that parallels her racing career, one that has done good work in the breeding shed without ever quite breaking through to the heights of fashion and success. Her fifth dam is Royal Rafale, a daughter of the good stakes horse Reneged and a descendant of a family developed by August Belmont II at his Nursery Stud in the early 20th century
Royal Rafale was bred along similar lines to 16-time stakes winner My Request, a leading member of the 1945 American foal crop who was by Reneged's sire Revoked out of a half sister to Royal Rafale's dam Questar. As a racer, Royal Rafale was of much lesser ability than My Request; sent to Puerto Rico to race, she won a juvenile stakes, but that was the pinnacle of her racing career.
Royal Rafale fared better in the breeding shed, where she produced two stakes winners, two stakes-placed runners, and the unraced dam of a multiple Grade 3 winner. She was particularly effective with 1961 American co-champion juvenile male Crimson Satan, who sired three black-type daughters from her in three matings.
Of the three, three-time stakes winner Royal Saint became the second dam of Italian Group 3 winner Ellenica, while stakes-placed Buda Lady produced the Grade 2-winning sprinter Salt Dome (by Blushing Groom). But the best of the trio, both on the track and in the breeding shed, was Flama Ardiente, a tough mare who won 15 of her 49 starts, placing another 19 times, and gained graded laurels in the 1975 Falls City Handicap (USA-G3).
Flama Ardiente produced two good racehorses in Magical Wonder (by Storm Bird), who won the 1986 Prix Jean Prat Ecurie Fustok (FR-G1), and Mt. Livermore (by Blushing Groom), a multiple Grade 2-winning sprinter and a good sire whose 70 stakes winners included two-time American champion sprinter Housebuster. The mare also produced unraced Exclusive Moment (by Exclusive Native), who carried on the female line. Exclusive Moment is the second dam of Group 1-placed German Group 3 winner Saugerties and Grade 3 winner Host and, through her listed stakes-winning daughter Exclusive Bird (by Storm Bird), is the third dam of Royal Flag (out of Sea Gull, by Mineshaft) as well as Grade 3-placed stakes winner Private Ryan (a Quiet American half brother to Sea Gull).
Royal Rafale's family does not rank among the great matriarchies of the turf, but it is one that has certainly shown itself as worth persevering with. In Royal Flag, it has come up with its best female representative in four generations, perhaps signaling a return to a higher level. One can hope so, for there are certainly worse combinations of traits to perpetuate than honesty, consistency, and a nice level of talent.