On Saturday, Rushing Fall delivered a bonus birthday gift to her owner, Bob Edwards, who races in the name of e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, by winning the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End (G1) at Keeneland.
“That worked out well,” said Whit Beckman, assistant to trainer Chad Brown. “Everybody was happy about it and it was Mr. Edwards' birthday. That's a pretty good birthday present to win a $500,000 Grade 1.”
With the victory, Rushing Fall became the fourth horse, all fillies, to win three graded stakes at Keeneland before the end of their 3-year-old campaigns. Rushing Fall won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) last fall and this spring won the Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association.
La Coronel in 2016-2017 won the same three races as Rushing Fall did. Optimistic Gal was the first to win three graded Keeneland stakes before the end of her 3-year-old campaign with victories in the 1975 Alcibiades (G3) and 1976 Ashland (G3) and Spinster (G1). Take Charge Lady won the same three races in 2001-2002 with the Alcibiades being a Grade 2 and the Ashland a Grade 1.
Take Charge Lady with four victories, including the Spinster twice, has the most graded stakes victories at Keeneland of any filly. Wise Dan, with seven graded stakes victories, is the all-time Keeneland leader in that category.
In yesterday's QE II, Rushing Fall and jockey Javier Castellano controlled the pace in the 1 1/8-mile race and pulled away to a 1¼-length victory.
“When I saw that :23 and 4 first quarter, I was a little concerned. But at the half in :49 and 1 and Javier had her on cruise control, I was more confident then,” Beckman said. “She is doing well this morning and feeling good.”
Plans for Rushing Fall are to be determined.
Runner-up Mission Impassible (IRE) came out of the race well, according to Rodolphe Brisset.
Owned by Mohamed Fahad Al Attiyah and Haras d'Etreham, Mission Impassible will remain in the U.S. in Brisset's care. Rather than returning to the quarantine barn after the race, Mission Impassible moved about a quarter mile down Rice Road to Brisset's barn.
Nyaleti (IRE), who finished 4 3/4 lengths back in third, will be heading back to Europe Wednesday or staying stateside for a possible Breeders' Cup run.
“She ran well but there was not enough pace for her,” said Hayley Kelly, exercise rider for Nyaleti, who is owned by 3 Batterhams and a Reay. “Everybody was pleased with her. The owners are going to decide today whether to stay here for the (Nov. 3) Breeders' Cup (Filly and Mare Turf-G1) or go back for a race in Italy on Nov. 4 (the Premio Lydia Tesio-G1 at a mile and a quarter).”
Trainer Kenny McPeek was happy with the fourth-place finish of Princess Warrior.
“The filly came back fine and we were pleased with her run,” McPeek said of the filly, who is owned by Evan, Matthew and Andrew Trommer. “We were really hoping to get at least a third place or better for Grade 1 black type, but she just got beat for the third spot.
“Every time we run her on the grass she's run well and respectable. She is probably going to come back in the ($200,000) Mrs. Revere (G2 at Churchill Downs Nov. 23 at 1 1/16 miles) and we'd like to think we could take a shot at the American Oaks (G1) in California later in the season.”
Alice Clapham, assistant to trainer Graham Motion, said that sixth-place finisher Secret Message came out of the race OK and likely would be headed back to Fair Hill training center in Maryland in the next few days.
“That Rushing Fall is a serious filly,” Clapham said of the winner.
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