November 27, 2022

Rushing Fall, Got Stormy clash in Beaugay on Belmont opener

Rushing Fall winning the 2019 Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) at Keeneland (c) Coady Photography/Keeneland

Racing in New York resumes Wednesday for the first time since March, with the $100,000 Beaugay (G3) the opening-day feature at a condensed and stakes-heavy 25-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park.

Only six passed the entry box for the Beaugay, a 1 1/16-mile inner turf test for fillies and mares, but the presence of multiple Grade 1 scorers Got Stormy and Rushing Fall surely played a role in that and give the race massive appeal from a sporting perspective.

Got Stormy, who captured the 2019 Fourstardave H. (G1) and Matriarch (G1) and also placed in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), has had the benefit of a couple runs this season. After a disappointing fourth in the Endeavour (G3) as a 1-5 shot, the Mark Casse-trained bounced back with a better run in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita against the boys, missing by a neck to River Boyne.

“I don’t know that I did a good job getting her ready for that race [the Endeavour],” said Casse. “She lost it at Tampa. It reminded me of when she was a 3-year-old. I don’t know what it was, but she was just a wreck.

“Her race in California, she has nothing to be ashamed of there. We flew her out and she competed against the boys at their house.”

A Grade 1 winner every season she’s raced, Rushing Fall captured the Jenny Wiley (G1) and Just a Game (G1) last year before stablemates Sistercharlie and Uni had her number in the final two starts of her brief campaign. She’s won eight of 11 for trainer Chad Brown.

“This seems like a good starting point. She’s only run one bad race in her life and that was her last start,” said Brown, referring to Rushing Fall’s fourth to Uni in the First Lady (G1). “She had to overcome some things. She had a mini-layoff and she had gotten really sick at Saratoga. I thought we had her ready [for the First Lady]. She loves Keeneland, but it didn’t work out.

“She’s had an extremely consistent career and she’s training as good as ever right now.”

Brown also saddles Fifty Five, best known for her success in New York-bred and open overnight stakes but who’s run close in previous graded attempts.

“With everything that’s been set back because of the pandemic, the first New York-bred race for her isn’t until later in the summer and we have to get her started,” said Brown. “She loves Belmont so we’ll see what happens.”

Call Me Love was one of Italy’s top 3-year-old fillies last season, placing in the Italian Oaks (G2) last spring before winning back-to-back group events in the fall. The latter, the Premio Lydia Tesio (G2), is one of that country’s most important races for fillies and mares. The Sea the Stars miss won the 1 1/4-mile event on heavy ground and makes her U.S. debut here for Christophe Clement.

Xenobia captured the course-and-distance Athenia (G3) last fall before faltering in a stakes at Woodbine on Tapeta. Passing Out makes her graded debut for Shug McGaughey following a seven-length allowance romp at Tampa Bay Downs.