October 17, 2018

Rushing Fall to meet seven in Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

Rushing Fall returned to the winner's circle on August 18, 2018, scoring in the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) at Saratoga under jockey Javier Castellano (c) NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography

After concluding her perfect two-year-old season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Rushing Fall opened her sophomore campaign with a convincing win in the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland. The talented daughter of More Than Ready will return to the Lexington, Kentucky, turf course as the horse to beat in Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for three-year-old fillies.

Rushing Fall’s season hit a snag following a neck second in the Edgewood (G3) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard, as she spent nearly 3 ½ months on the sidelines in the aftermath, but the Chad Brown-trained miss showed no signs of rust when reappearing with a 2 ¾-length victory in the August 18 Lake Point (G2) at Saratoga.

Now 6-5-1-0 overall, Rushing Fall will face seven rivals in the 1 1/8-mile QE2 and regular rider Javier Castellano will be up.

Mission Impassible looms as the main challenger in her first North American start. The Irish-bred Galileo filly defeated Crown Walk when capturing the Prix de Sandringham (G2) two starts ago and that rival finished fourth at 7-2 odds against older rivals in the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland last Saturday. Mission Impassible will receive class relief off a fifth in the Prix de Rothschild (G1) at Deauville and Florent Geroux picks up the mount for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.

Del Mar Oaks (G1) heroine Fatale Bere invades for Leonard Powell. A Grade 3 scorer at Santa Anita earlier this season, the French-bred daughter of Pedro the Great was beaten 3 ½ lengths when posting a decent sixth in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) two back and keeps Kent Desormeaux in the saddle.

Secret Message recorded a sharp win in the Pucker Up (G3) two back for Graham Motion and exits a rallying second in the September 15 Sands Point (G2) at Belmont Park. The Hat Trick filly will try to get involved in the latter stages with new jockey Jorge Vargas Jr.

Daddy Is a Legend rolled to a two-length tally in the Lake George (G2) early in the Saratoga meet but must improve upon a third in the Lake Placid to challenge. The dark bay daughter of Scat Daddy adds the services of locally-based Robby Albarado. Lake Placid second Capla Temptress also has form to find following a disappointing seventh in the Sands Point.

Completing the field are German Group 2 winner Nyaleti, a well-beaten sixth when making her U.S. debut against elders in the Beverly D. (G1); and Dueling Grounds Oaks runner-up and Pucker Up third-placer Princess Warrior.

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