‘She Knows How To Win’: Rushing Fall Gives Brown Fifth Consecutive Diana Triumph

Trainer Chad Brown continued his domination in the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana, watching as 7-5 favorite Rushing Fall ran down pace setter Mean Mary approaching the stretch and held off her rival by a neck on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Brown won the 1 1/8-mile turf contest for older fillies and mares for the fifth consecutive year and record sixth overall as e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Rushing Fall was forwardly placed by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, who kept her just off Mean Mary in second position through the opening quarter-mile in 23.60 seconds, the half in 48.38 and three-quarters in 1:11.90 on the firm inner turf course.

Out of the final turn, Rushing Fall made a strong move to challenge Mean Mary from the outside, with the rivals dueling in the straightaway before Rushing Fall gained the slight edge and hit the wire in 1:45.88, capturing her third consecutive graded stakes victory.

“The plan was to go to the lead. I broke out of the gate and tried to send to dictate the pace, but Mean Mary never took up and tried to take the lead,” Castellano said. “I tried to ride smart, it’s a mile and an eighth and I thought it was smarter to save something for the end. Today, we were very fortunate.

“I rode her like she was the best filly in the race,” he added. “She’s very tactical. She doesn’t have to be on the lead, she can come from behind also, but I didn’t see much other speed in the race, so we tracked the other filly every single step of the way and when I asked her, she responded. She knows how to win. I’m so lucky to ride her because she’s one of the best fillies I’ve rode in my life.”

Rushing Fall notched her sixth career Grade 1 victory and won for the 11th time in 14 career starts overall and has been a Grade 1-winner at ages 2, 3, 4 and 5.

The 5-year-old More Than Ready mare, who won the 2017 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, improved to 3-for-3 in 2020, adding to her scores in the Grade 3 Beaugay in June at Belmont Park and the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley last month at Keeneland.

Brown won the Diana’s previous two editions with Sistercharlie, who defeated Rushing Fall by 1 3/4 lengths last year to give their trainer the exacta. On Sunday, Rushing Fall won for the second time in three career starts at the Spa, returning $4.80 on a $2 win wager and improving her career earnings to $2.55 million.

“It means a lot. This is a very important race that we point for every year and we’ve been fortunate through the years to have horses that really fit,” said Brown, who also won the Diana with Lady Eli [2017], Dacita [2016] and Zagora [2011]. “She’s a great horse and she ran a super race today.”

Brown praised Rushing Fall’s superlative 2020 campaign after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 First Lady in October at Keeneland.

“She knows how to win. She’s a remarkable horse,” Brown said. “This is a horse that has won Grade 1s in four straight years. This is very rare company to do this. She’s a horse of a lifetime for anybody – for an owner, for a trainer, for racing. We’re very fortunate that [owner] Bob Edwards put her back in training. Her last race of the year last year was not good, she’s worth a lot of money and they could easily have sold her and bred her. They gave her the time off and we sent her down to Stonestreet in Ocala like we do every winter where they do a fantastic job and then my team got a hold of her and took it from there. They executed like they always have, and the filly really came through. She’s special.”

Alex G. Campbell, Jr.’s Mean Mary, the 2-1 second choice, finished 2 ½ lengths ahead of Sistercharlie for second. That marked the sixth time trainer Graham Motion has saddled the Diana runner-up, adding to a string of near-misses that includes Ultra Brat losing by a nose to Sistercharlie in 2018 and Quidura [2017], Shared Account [2010], and Sweet Talker [2006] all losing by a head. Aruna was beaten 1 ½ lengths for second in 2011.

“I got nice fractions early and then at the half-mile we started to get going,” said Mean Mary jockey Luis Saez. “Everyone came to me and she fought them. She got beat running.”

Sistercharlie, the 2018 Eclipse Award winner as Champion Turf Female, saw her bid to become the first three-peat winner of the Diana thwarted but still finished in third to earn blacktype for the 15th consecutive start. Brown said he’s hopeful the effort prepares her for a return engagement in the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on November 7 at Keeneland.

“I thought she took a nice step forward towards the Breeders’ Cup today,” Brown said. “This course is very speed-favoring. It’s hard to imagine a scenario, no matter what the pace is, where she is going to be able to make up that much ground. It’s just the way it’s played all meet.

“I can see her rounding into form right at the right time,” he added. “I was disappointed that she wasn’t right there at the wire but not discouraged that can’t get on track for the Breeders’ Cup. It’s a good step forward.”

Starship Jubilee and Call Me Love completed the order of finish. Secret Message, also conditioned by Motion, was scratched at the gate.

Live racing resumes Wednesday at Saratoga with a nine-race card that features the $85,000 Mahony for sophomores going 5 ½ furlongs on turf in Race 7 at 4:12 p.m. First post is 12:50 p.m with an allowance steeplechase race.

The post ‘She Knows How To Win’: Rushing Fall Gives Brown Fifth Consecutive Diana Triumph appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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