SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - There is very little missing from the resume of Rushing Fall, a 5-year-old mare who has won Grade 1 stakes in four consecutive years while amassing a career record of 10 wins and two seconds from 13 starts.
Perhaps a Grade 1 victory at Saratoga and an Eclipse Award as champion female turf horse are all that's left for her to accomplish. Sunday, Rushing Fall goes for the former, which could go a long way to achieving the latter when she heads a stellar field of six entered in the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.
The Diana goes as race 8 on a nine-race card that begins at 1:10 p.m. and features a mandatory payout on the Empire 6, a wager that began Friday with a $442,574 carryover. The Empire 6, a 20-cent minimum bet, is on races 4 through 9.
Rushing Fall, a daughter of More Than Ready owned by Bob Edwards, heads a potent one-two punch for trainer Chad Brown, who also sends out Sistercharlie, the female turf champion of 2018 who is seeking a historic third consecutive victory in this race.
A victory by either would give Brown a fifth consecutive Diana victory as he also won this race in 2017 with Lady Eli and in 2016 with Dacita.
Rushing Fall finished second to Sistercharlie in this race last year. She completed her 4-year-old campaign with a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 First Lady at Keeneland. This year, however, Rushing Fall has won the Grade 3 Beaugay and the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. Those races were run at 1 1/16 miles, which appears to be her optimal distance.
While Rushing Fall has won twice at 1 1/8 miles, race shape and field quality somewhat were factors in those victories.
Brown likens Rushing Fall a bit to Stephanie's Kitten and Dayatthespa, who successfully stretched out to longer distances in winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at 1 3/16 miles and 1 1/4 miles, respectively.
"Those horses were pretty much milers when they were younger," Brown said. "This horse, I think at her age, I'm optimistic that she can fall into that pattern of getting a little more length out of her. I see it in her training. I can't guarantee it."
At age 5 and still relatively lightly campaigned, Rushing Fall does show more physical stature to Brown.