Breeders' Cup winner Rushing Fall looks like the next Lady Eli

November 09, 2017 08:36am

It isn’t often a horse with the talent of a Lady Eli comes along, but as that mare enters retirement, trainer Chad Brown has seemingly found a suitable replacement.

Rushing Fall will have plenty to live up to, however.

A five-time Grade 1 winner, Lady Eli was considered among the most talented American turf runners with dominating performances in her juvenile season that carried over as a 3-year-old. The daughter of Divine Park survived laminitis, then 
defined her greatness by returning to racing's highest level with a near miss in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Horses like Lady Eli sometimes don't come around once during a trainer's career. Now Brown has in his barn another Juvenile Filly Turf winner that resembles his last.

As with Lady Eli, Rushing Fall opened her career by winning her first three starts. After their debuts, Brown put both in Grade 3 company for their next race. Lady Eli won Belmont's Miss Grillo Stakes, while Rushing Fall took part in the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland. The fillies won by a similar margin, with Lady Eli taking the Miss Grillo by 3 lengths and Rushing Falls taking the Jessamine by 3 3/4.

Both fillies were then pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf. They dominated their respective fields, albeit in different ways. Lady Eli was able to stalk the pace before making a rail bid that led her to her score. Rushing Fall, on the other hand, overcame a trip where she was pushed four wide on the first turn and six wide on the second.

In addition to the purse and prestige garnered by Rushing Fall, the victory could help her contend for champion Two-Year-Old Filly. Lady Eli finished second in the voting for that particular Eclipse Award after her own juvenile campaign.

"To potentially give a 2-year-old championship to a turf horse, it hasn’t happened yet, but I think Rushing Fall would probably be the best chance for that to happen for the first time,” Brown recently told the Daily Racing Form.

With such stark similarities, Rushing Fall will head into her next season continuing to draw comparisons. At least initially, it looks as if Brown as a worthy successor to his star sired by, of all horses, More Than Ready.


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Meet Laura Pugh

Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2002. At that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.

Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college, she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at Virginia Intermont College and then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 

In 2010, Laura began writing for Horse Racing Nation and has also contributed to Lady and the Track, TwinSpires and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter.

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