Notes & Quotes From the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

(Rushing Fall wins the G1 QE II at Keeneland on Saturday / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Bob Edwards (whose e Five Racing Thoroughbreds owns the winner, Rushing Fall)

“The filly’s phenomenal. We’ve had an unbelievable run with her. Super happy to be here at Keeneland. It’s all about the team. I had a Hall of Fame rider (Javier Castellano) give a Hall of Fame ride. (She’s) an unbelievable filly picked by (bloodstock agent) Mike Ryan, trained by Chad Brown – the connections are phenomenal. She’s well-bred. (Co-breeder) Fred (Hertrich III) and his team have done a great job breeding horses. Just really happy to be here.”

Javier Castellano (winning rider)

“She’s a good filly. We discussed with the owner, Mr. Edwards, and (trainer) Chad Brown how (I) can ride the horse in the race. We handicapped the race. I didn’t see much speed. That’s the reason I dictated the pace with slow fractions. She’s just a good filly. I just enjoyed the ride and am very lucky and blessed to enjoy those kind of horses.”

On whether he was concerned when Mission Impassible challenged Rushing Fall at the top of the stretch

“I had a little concern. She was looking around a little bit to the Grandstand. I asked her a little bit, and she responded. She put it back together, and the way she finished was really impressive.”

Florent Geroux (rider of runner-up Mission Impassible [IRE])

“I had a great trip. She (Mission Impassible) was nice and relaxed. I thought for a minute that I was going to win it. Turning for home, I came head to head with Rushing Fall, but she (Rushing Fall) was just the best at the end. My filly couldn’t quite get the distance. Rushing Fall is a really nice filly, one of the top three in the country, so no shame in getting beat by her.”

Rodolphe Brisset (trainer who helped saddle Mission Impassible)

“This filly will be staying with me in America, so they asked me to help today and the last few days that she has been here. Her (racing) form in France was very good. The idea was to bring her here and try to win a Grade 1. We will try again. We don’t know yet what race we will aim at, but she will be with our barn at Payson Park (training facility in South Florida) for the winter. Maybe look for a race on the West Coast.

“She ran good today. The 1 1/8 miles was the question (after racing in shorter races). She was second to the best American 3-year-old grass filly. Everybody should be happy.”

Corey Lanerie (rider of third-place finisher Nyaleti [IRE])

“I had a lovely trip. She came out of the gates well and tracked the winner (Rushing Fall). Had everything kinda open-door, just wasn’t good enough today. She ran a great race.”

Brian J. Hernandez (rider of fourth-place finisher Princess Warrior)

“We had a great trip. We were able to kind of tuck in around the first turn and save some ground. Turning for home, we made a run at them and we all sprinted home. Any time you can run as well as she did today in a Grade 1 you have to be proud. And she keeps improving, so it’s nice to see.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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