Last seen wiring the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) during Keeneland’s fall meet, 4-5 favorite Rushing Fall successfully employed the same tactics versus older rivals in Saturday’s $350,000 Jenny Wiley (G1). The e Five Racing Thoroughbreds runner, still perfect over the course, joins Take Charge Lady as a four-time Keeneland stakes winner – a local mark eclipsed only by Wise Dan’s tally of seven.
With the red-hot Javier Castellano aboard, Rushing Fall was simply too good as she dictated terms of :23.81, :48.41, and 1:13.62 on the firm turf. The Chad Brown trainee accelerated through a fourth quarter in :23.30, reaching the mile in 1:36.92, and proved uncatchable when clocking 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.77.
Stablemate and 2-1 second choice Rymska rallied from midpack, and dove to the inside, to cut the margin to a length. Brown almost had the Jenny Wiley trifecta for the second straight year. But his Onthemoonagain, taking the overland route from last, came up a neck shy of third-placer Got Stormy.
Bellavais reported home another 5 1/4 lengths astern in fifth. Next came Phantom Opening and Princess Warrior, both of whom stalked Rushing Fall early, and Goodyearforroses.
Rushing Fall earned her signature win in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Del Mar, having booked her ticket in the Jessamine (G3) at Keeneland. She opened her sophomore campaign by taking another Keeneland feature, the Appalachian (G2). A tough trip contributed to her first, and so far only, loss by a neck in the Edgewood (G3) on Kentucky Oaks Day. Regrouping over the summer, Rushing Fall was back on song in the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga en route to the QEII. Her scorecard stands at 8-7-1-0, $1,518,000.
Bred by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding in Kentucky, the More Than Ready filly brought $320,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling. She is out of the Forestry mare Autumnal, who is also responsible for multiple Grade 3-placed stakes winner Pica Slew, and from the family of Grade 1 star and $3 million-earner Albert the Great.
Quotes from Keeneland
Winning rider Javier Castellano: “I give all the credit to Mr. Brown, the way he’s been training this horse since the layoff. This filly, she’s so nice – the way she broke out of the gate, the way she relaxed. I just enjoyed the ride. She (got) tired, but just a little bit. But she finished strong and did it very easy.”
Winning trainer Chad Brown on Rushing Fall: “She definitely loves the (Keeneland turf) course. Big team effort. Just a great day – so many people that played a part in her development are here today.
On runner-up Rymska: “She’s fit, she’s sharp right now. I knew it would be close. She’s a top filly herself, but there can only be one winner. All three (rounded out by fourth Onthemoonagain) ran well, and they’ll probably go their separate ways now.”
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. on Rymska: “The pace was a little slow, and not too many horses had speed in the race. We got beat by a nice filly. We were second best today. It was a little tight getting through on the rail, but she went through anyway. We have no excuses today.”
Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Got Stormy in third: “My filly really ran her heart out. She tries so hard every time. I’m just so happy for her to get a Grade 1 placing now. She’s going to have a great year. I’m really looking forward to it.”