ELMONT, NY – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Rushing Fall – aka the “Turf Rocket” – faces a stiff test for her 2020 debut when she faces five fillies and mares in Wednesday’s $100,000 Beaugay Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
The Beaugay is slated as the ninth event on a 10-race Wednesday card that is Opening Day for the 2020 Belmont Park summer meet. Due to the pandemic, this year’s compact schedule features at least one stakes on every day of live racing.
Rushing Fall, the 6/5 morning line favorite, is one of two entries from perennial leading trainer Chad Brown. Her stablemate, Fifty Five, will break to her immediate outside from post 2 as both runners make their first starts since last October.
“Thankfully, we’re back racing,” Brown said. “I know the management at NYRA has worked extremely hard to get racing back going, which I know myself and the rest of the horsemen are really appreciative for. I’ve been back in New York now for a couple of weeks and I feel they’re really doing a great job of keeping the backside safe. I feel very comfortable training here. There’s a lot of people doing a lot of hard work to get racing up and going again and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Got Stormy, the 7/5 second choice on the tote who will emerge from stall 3, has a recency advantage on the pair to her inside, having competed twice in 2020 for trainer Mark Casse.
“She really matured,” Casse said of the 5-year-old Get Stormy mare. “Most don’t, but she did, and not just physically, but mentally. The light went on over the winter of her 3-year-old year. As a 3-year-old, she was very nervous all the time. As a 4-year-old, that nervousness was gone. … A lot of the Get Stormy horses tend to get better as they get older. Often, the difference between a good horse and a great horse can be a length or 2.”
Here is a look at the full field for Wednesday’s Beaugay:
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1. Rushing Fall (6/5) – The top choice on the morning line has a nearly-flawless record of 11-8-2-0, with her first career off-the-board finish coming in last fall’s First Lady Stakes (G1) while going 1 mile at Keeneland. She is undefeated in all three calendar-year debuts and is the top threat from a barn that won this race each of the last two years – both times with horses returning from layoffs of at least 180 days.
2. Fifty Five (5/1) – She has been nothing if not consistent in her career, compiling a record of 22-11-4-5 that includes back-to-back victories last fall over this same inner turf course against fellow New York-breds. With regular jockey Javier Castellano choosing to ride Rushing Fall (as he has in each of that rival’s 11 past races) in this spot, Joel Rosario picks up the mount and could represent valuable overlay against a short field.
3. Got Stormy (7/5) – Newly-named Hall of Fame trainer Casse has never shied away from a fight with this multiple Grade 1 winner who finished first or second in 4 starts against the boys and set a new Saratoga track record in the open-company Fourstardave Handicap (G1). Her toughest task here will likely be the distance – she has yet to finish better than third in 4 starts when going 1 1/16 miles.
4. Call Me Love (12/1) – After putting together a sparkling two-year career on Italian turf courses, this multiple Group stakes winner makes her North American debut against a salty group. She ended 2019 with back-to-back wins utilizing different tactics, and trainer Christophe Clement has won 13% both with first-time overseas imports and with first-time Lasix users, so while the test will be tough, she is not without a chance.
5. Passing Out (15/1) – The longest shot on the board made a big return to the winner’s circle last time out, taking a 1-mile allowance/optional claiming event at Tampa Bay Downs by 7 lengths. Though she earned a career-best 90 Beyer speed figure that day, she will need to continue improving if she hopes to factor into the late running here.
6. Xenobia (10/1) – The Irish-bred mare shipped to America last spring and came under the care of Jonathan Thomas, who saddled her to three straight improving turf efforts that culminated with a victory over this course and distance in October’s Athenia Stakes (G3). A gate-to-wire winner that day, she represents the biggest early-pace threat to the front-running favorite as she makes her first start of 2020.