(The beautiful Rushing Fall / All Photos by Holly M. Smith)
I still remember the first time I saw the bay filly Rushing Fall. She was just a “baby” back in the fall of 2017. She was fresh off an impressive win at Belmont Park in her career debut. And, she was the freshest thing in a star-studded barn for training star Chad Brown.
Rushing Fall came into the the spectacular scene wide eyed and a little bushy-tailed, to be sure. She was exactly what her age suggested — a 2-year-old. But she was supposed to be all the rage, too. A beautiful daughter of More Than Ready. A striking youngster fully prepared to live up to her sire’s name.
When she walked, you could hear the cameras clicking above the buzz of a Fall afternoon in Lexington. When she stood, you could hear the murmurs above the hum of the birds — nature’s own drones. When she got her saddle situated and she tucked her head up to where she looked like a perfect “knight” and a real-life chess piece, you could see why the descriptions always started with the word “greatness.”
She had that look.
And, she had that run.
Just a few minutes later, Rushing Fall — in just her second career start — left the starting gate 12th in a full field of 14. Through 3/4s of the G3 Jessamine Stakes, she was still 9th and a long way from the front in the 11/16-mile race over some of the greenest bluegrass you will ever see. She looked to be in a world of trouble.
Then, her rider, Javier Castellano, asked her to run.
She had that run.
She zoomed from 9th to 2nd at the head of the stretch. At the wire, she was nearly 4 lengths in front. It was a WOW performance. One that burned an image into your memory bank that is never forgotten.
She definitely had that run.
When the counting was done, she won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar to go a perfect 3-for-3 as a 2YO Champ. She started 2018 with a win in the G2 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland. After losing the G3 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs by a skinny neck, she returned to reel off 4 more Stakes wins in a row — including 3 Grade 1s. And, when 2019 was done, she had raced 11 time with 8 wins and 2 seconds. She had already earned over $2 million in purses. She had earned much love and more respect.
The great news for us racing fans is that Rushing Fall is back in training. Just a week ago, she got her 6th published work since being returned to serious training on Feb. 17. With the closure of Keeneland, Rushing Fall does not have the opportunity to return to one of her favorite venues. But, for the world, she looks like she will return. And, soon.
Thanks be to e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, the owner, for allowing us fans to continue to watch Rushing Fall. If you get a chance, drop them a note on Twitter on their feed handle: @e5racing.
If you get the chance to see her in person, I think you will remember it. Just like I remember the first time I saw her run. After all. She has that run.
Here’s a look at Rushing Fall through the eyes and lens of Holly M. Smith:
(Rushing Fall schooling at Churchill Downs. Always on the bit)
(Ears pinned. Mind focused. Winner.)
(Walking onto the track at Keeneland, one of her most favorite spots on God’s turf Earth)
(Post parade at Keeneland)
(And, schooling at Keeneland, too)