SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Rushing Fall gave trainer Chad Brown his fifth straight score in Sunday’s $500,000 Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Rushing Fall – aka the “Turf Rocket” – was the 7/5 favorite as she broke from post 3 under Javier Castellano. Though she was forwardly-placed early, Mean Mary outkicked her for the lead as the field passed under the wire for the first time.
With Luis Saez aboard, Mean Mary set unpressured opening fractions of :23.60, :48.38, and 1:11.90. Castellano allowed Rushing Fall to move forward heading into the far turn and challenge for the lead midway through.
The two front-runners straightened for home heads apart and set off on an epic stretch run. Rushing Fall inched ahead slightly in mid-stretch and held her advantage over a game rival until crossing a neck clear in a final time of 1:45.88 for the 1 1/8-mile firm inner turf route.
“The plan was to go to the lead,” Castellano said. “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. I tried to ride smart; it’s a mile and 1/8 and I thought it was smarter to save something for the end. Today, we were very fortunate.”
Mean Mary, who suffered defeat for the first time in her past 5 starts, ran valiantly in the stretch and crossed 2 1/2 lengths ahead of the two-time defending champion Sistercharlie, the winner’s stablemate.
Starship Jubilee and Call Me Love completed the order of finish.
Secret Message was scratched after she flipped in the gate while waiting for the race to start.
Rushing Fall’s win was her third from as many 2020 starts following the Beaugay Stakes (G3) and the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) and improved her career record to 14-11-2-0. The 5-year-old More Than Ready mare has now earned $2,553,000 for e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, who paid $320,000 for her as a yearling.
“She knows how to win,” Brown said. “She’s a remarkable horse. 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.”
Rushing Fall returned $4.80 to win, $2.70 to place, and $2.10 to show. Mean Mary brought back $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show, while Sistercharlie paid $2.40 to show.