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Trainer Chad Brown has a fearsome foursome listed among the 18 total pre-entries for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf (G1), the premier grass event for female runners at the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships that will be held November 6 and 7 at Keeneland.
The ultra-classy Rushing Fall looks on paper like Brown’s most likely candidate to bring home the barn’s record fifth win in this race. Nicknamed the “Turf Rocket,” Rushing Fall has won all 3 starts in 2020 including the Diana Stakes (G1) last time out, and if ever there was a horse who loved Keeneland’s grass course, it’s this 5-year-old mare who has won 5 of her 6 local appearances, all of which were against graded stakes rivals. Her swan song appearance will be her second at the World Championships; she previously took the 2017 Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Del Mar.
Sistercharlie returns to a race that she won in 2018 at Churchill Downs while still seeking her first victory in over a calendar year. The Irish-bred 6-year-old mare has hit the board in all 12 prior starts in America but has only finished third in each of her past 3 starts, including last fall’s Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park. She won her lone prior Keeneland appearance, the 2018 Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1).
My Sister Nat could qualify on pedigree alone. A younger half-sister of both stablemate Sistercharlie and recent Arc de Triomphe (G1) victor Sottsass, she has finished first or second in each of her past 5 starts, all of which came at the graded stakes level. She was most recently second by just a head in the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) last time out, while fellow Brown trainee Nay Lady Nay was 3/4 of a length further back in third.
Nay Lady Nay’s defeat was just her second in her past 6 starts, a string that includes winning July’s Matchmaker Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park and last November’s Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. She has 5 wins from 9 career appearances, with 4 of those coming at different tracks. She has yet to start at Keeneland.
Flower Bowl champion Civil Union has now won 4 straight, beginning with a Belmont Park allowance event in June before scoring in 3 straight stakes. Trainer Shug McGaughey and owner/breeder Joe Allen previously went for the Flower Bowl-Filly & Mare Turf double in 2017 with War Flag, who finished sixth at that year’s World Championships.
While Brown has won 4 of the past 8 editions of this race, the other 4 went to barns based in Europe, and the 2020 overseas contingent features 8 pre-entries. Angel Power, Audarya, Cayenne Pepper, Half Light, Mehdaayih, Peaceful, Tarnawa, and Terebellum are listed prominently on the pre-entries sheet, though Tarnawa has made this race her second preference behind the Longines Turf.
The other North American-based pre-entries include Harvey’s Lil Goil, Lady Prancealot, Mean Mary, Mucho Unusual, and Starship Jubilee.
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