Horse racing seldom sees our biggest stars winning at the sport’s highest level each year that they can race. Minor injuries or illness can take them out of the races for a year or more, preventing them from adding to their sparkling record. Rushing fall is just one of the few horses that is an exception to this. She just recently became the third horse to have won a Grade 1 race at ages 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Rushing Fall is a brilliant mare bred by Fred W. Hetrich III & John D. Fielding. She was sired by More Than Ready out of the Forestry mare Autumnal. Her incredible beauty and nice pedigree prompted agent Mike Ryan to bid $320,000 for her at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
She entered the barn of trainer Chad Brown, the king of U.S. turf racing, and immediately found success. She broke her maiden in her debut at Belmont Park and then won the Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland immediately afterward.
She went on to win her first Grade 1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2017. Her display of brilliance there was just a peek at what was to come.
Rushing Fall carried the bright silks of her owners e Five Racing Thoroughbreds to many, many victories. She won her second Grade 1 in October 2018 in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes. She followed that up with her third Grade 1 win, this time as a four-year old in 2019, in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland.
That victory was immediately followed with a win in the Just A Game Stakes, giving her her third consecutive Grade 1 victory.
She suffered two tough losses in 2019 before finally returning to her winning way in the Beaugay Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. It was the perfect prep for her next race — the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1).
Bettors sent Rushing Fall off as the heavy favorite in the Jenny Wiley, though she would have to defeat the Brazilian mare Jolie Olimpica. History was on the line — if she won, she would join an exclusive club of Grade 1 winners at ages 2-5 that only included the extremely talented mares Lady Eli and Beholder.
Rushing Fall must have felt the importance of the race, as she possessed pure grit and focus. She broke well from the gate and sat right near the pace. When they hit the stretch, she battled gamely against Jolie Olimpica to win by a length.
In doing so, she set a course and stakes record. She also became just the second horse to win the Jenny Wiley Stakes twice. The win boosted her record to 13: 10-2-0 and her earnings to $2,278,000.
Rushing Fall is one of those special horses that fans of our sport are privileged to see run. She displays gameness and heart each time she sets hoof on the racetrack and is gallant even in defeat.
It has been a pleasure to watch her career unfold and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this star of the turf.
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