Stablemates Rushing Fall, Sistercharlie dominate Diana Stakes
By NY Hot List Staff
Through an understanding of how many talented turf fillies and mares have passed through the barn of three-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Chad Brown, it should come as no surprise that he has won Saratoga’s Diana Stakes four times.
The surprise will be if he doesn’t have five wins by the time Saturday evening rolls around.
Only six fillies and mares turned out for the Grade 1 turf stakes at the Spa, and Brown trains four of them. Yet his stranglehold on the race is not based on quantity, it’s all about the quality of Brown’s entrants.
Specifically, two of them.
In Sistercharlie and Rushing Fall, Brown will be sending two divas who could be stars not just in 2019 but in just about any year over the course of the last few decades.
They are that good.
Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie is the reigning Eclipse Award winner as the champion turf runner of 2018, a title she secured by winning four Grade 1 turf stakes last year, capped by a victory over international competition in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.
Rushing Fall has also won four Grade 1 turf stakes for e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, including the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She already owns two Grade 1 wins this year and overall her record stands at eight wins in nine career starts.
Put them on the same racetrack and you have the kind of magic that usually appears at the Breeders’ Cup.
Only in this case, two stablemates are clashing in a race that seems destined to paint one of them as the favorite to be crowned the division champion in January.
Conditioning would seem to favor Rushing Fall. While she has already won a pair of Grade 1 stakes in her two 2019 starts, Sistercharlie will be making her first start since that November afternoon eight months ago when she triumphed in the Breeders’ Cup.
Conversely, the 1 1/8-mile distance should work in Sistercharlie’s favor as she tries to reel in the speedy Rushing Fall in the stretch.
As much as Rushing Fall and Sistercharlie tower over the field it is not two-horse race.
Brown is also sending out Homerique, a promising 4-year-old filly owned by Brant who has won both of her starts in the United States, including the New York Stakes in her last start, and Thais, who is grade 1-placed and has enough speed to push Rushing Fall early.
The other two fillies face an uphill climb but are not overmatched.
Secret Message has late speed and is coming back-to-back turf stakes wins, including a victory in the Nassau Stakes at Woodbine in her last try.
Mitchell Road has a nice turn of early speed and should keep Rushing Fall busy during the opening stages. The half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Country House has won her last four starts at four different tracks and was last seen reeling off a front-running victory in the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day.
The Diana is the highlight of an 11-race card at the Spa and will be contested as the eighth race with an approximate post time of 5:46 p.m.