It’s been a good weekend at Keeneland for Breeders’ Cup winners sporting the silks of e Five Racing Thoroughbreds – and for Chad Brown three-year-olds.
On Saturday, e Five’s Juvenile (G1) champion Good Magic, co-owned by Stonestreet Farm, regained the winning thread in the Blue Grass (G2) en route to the Kentucky Derby (G1). On Sunday, their unbeaten Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) heroine, Rushing Fall, picked up right where she left off with a victorious reappearance in the $200,000 Appalachian (G2). Both are trained by Brown, who also took Friday’s opening-day feature, the Transylvania (G3), with another undefeated turf sophomore, William Lawrence’s Analyze It.
Rushing Fall was dispatched as the 1-2 favorite in the Appalachian despite the presence of a couple of smart opponents. One of them, Daddy Is a Legend, effectively ruined her chance by spotting the field multiple lengths at the start. Not only slow to move when the latch was sprung, the 8-1 chance also “broke in a tangle” as the chart caller phrased it.
As the 61-1 Lounge Act played the role of pacesetter, stalked by fellow longshots Beach Waltz and She’s Pretty Lucky through fractions of :24.67 and :49.91 on the yielding course, Rushing Fall was in the right spot in fourth. The odds-on favorite crept into third passing the six furlongs in 1:15.09, at which time Daddy Is a Legend was uncorking a monster move on the outside and propelling herself into contention.
Rushing Fall took control in the stretch, but amazingly Daddy Is a Legend ranged up to challenge. Then the Breeders’ Cup winner found another spurt to kick away again. With a length to spare for regular rider Javier Castellano, Rushing Fall clocked the soggy mile in 1:38.66.
Daddy Is a Legend was spent, and 4-1 second choice Thewayiam closed for second. Goodthingstaketime was along for third, relegating Daddy Is a Legend to a better-than-appears fourth. Next came Beach Waltz, Heavenly Love, She’s Pretty Lucky, Lounge Act, and Dixie Moon. Ultima D and Cash Out were withdrawn.
Now a perfect four-for-four, all on turf, Rushing Fall has $805,000 in her account. The More Than Ready filly beat Daddy Is a Legend when unveiled at Belmont Park last September, and shipped to Keeneland for her stakes debut in the Jessamine (G3), where she punched a last-chance ticket to the Breeders’ Cup. Rushing Fall overcame a strong international cast at Del Mar, and more invaders are likely to take her on again this summer in her presumed goal, the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1).
Rushing Fall is the third Appalachian winner trained by Brown. The first two set a high standard — future champion turf mares Dayatthespa (2012) and Lady Eli (2015).
Bred by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding in Kentucky, Rushing Fall was purchased for $320,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling. Her dam, the Forestry mare Autumnal, is also responsible for multiple Grade 3-placed stakes scorer Milam; multiple stakes-placed Autumn Song; and Homecoming Dance, the dam of current Damon Runyon winner Empire Line. Rushing Fall’s third dam is In My Cap, winner of two Canadian fillies’ classics, sister to Grade 1 vixen Trumpet’s Blare, and granddam of Grade 1 hero and $3 million-earner Albert the Great.
Quotes from Keeneland
Trainer Chad Brown: “Just going to enjoy this, and plan from here. We just wanted to get her season started and see where we’re at. I’m very pleased with the result. There are several options we’re thinking about, and over the next month we’ll figure out our next move.”
Jockey Javier Castellano: “She was very comfortable rating. I know the pace was slow today. I didn’t expect her to be too close to the pace, but the way the race unfolded, I took it from there. She was much the best. She’s one of the best fillies I’ve ridden in my career. Thankful to be part of the team.”
Jose Ortiz, who rode runner-up Thewayiam: “The trip was perfect, I followed Javier the whole way around there. I knew that (Rushing Fall) was the horse to beat. They made an early move right when we passed the three-eighths pole, and I thought that was going to benefit me. And I did dig in for second; my filly was running from the eighth pole to the wire. The winner was the best today, she’s a really nice filly and so was mine. It surprised me a bit that they moved a little early. It means that she’s really good.”
Jockey Joel Rosario on Goodthingstaketime’s third-place effort: “She broke well. She relaxed very well. The horses on the outside were moving as we were turning for home. I just held my spot and tried to get the jump on (Rushing Fall) before she started to make a move. There was a little weaving in the lane, but she tried hard. I was third best today.”
Joe Bravo, rider of Daddy Is a Legend in fourth: “It is just her habit to wait when the gates open. I certainly would like to come out faster, but I have to wait on her. That put her very far back, but for her first race back (from a 4 1/2-month layoff), I am very proud of her.”