Peter M. Brant’s RAGING BULL came with a powerful late run to get his nose down on the wire for the win in the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) at Saratoga on Friday.
The bay sophomore bided his time near the rear of the field under jockey Joel Rosario as Gidu drew off to set the pace through splits of :23.44, :47.23, 1:11.96 and 1:37.29. That Irish-bred colt maintained the advantage into the stretch, but the rest of the group was catching up.
Maraud and Ride a Comet took after the leader and collared him in the lane, but Raging Bull was closing fast down the middle of the course. Maraud pulled clear of Ride a Comet and Gidu, but himself was caught on the wire by Raging Bull, who finished 1 1/16 miles over the yielding turf course in 1:43.69.
Sent off the 5-2 favorite, Raging Bull returned $7.30 for the win. Maraud had 1 1/4 lengths to spare on Ride a Comet, who finished a half-length in front of Gidu. Completing the order of finish were Combatant, Have At It, Westerland, Gunnison and Gemonteer.
Trained by Chad Brown, Raging Bull earned his first stakes win in this spot to improve his record to 4-3-1-0 and boost his bankroll to $218,500. The bay son of Dark Angel broke his maiden by two lengths on April 19 at Keeneland and captured an allowance/optional claimer next out on June 8 by three parts of a length at Belmont Park. The three-year-old stayed at Big Sandy to make his stakes bow in the Manila Stakes last out on Independence Day and rallied to be second.
Bred in France by Dayton Investments Limited, Raging Bull is out of the listed-placed Mr. Greeley mare Rosa Bonheur and counts as his second dam Italian highweight and Group 2 winner Rolly Polly.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RACING HALL OF FAME STAKES QUOTES
Joel Rosario, jockey Raging Bull, winner
“Working with him, it took a little bit of time. It seemed like he wasn’t handling the turf good on the backside for a little bit. For a second, I thought maybe the horse on the lead (Gidu) was going to stay there, but I’m glad my horse got it done.”
Chad Brown, trainer Raging Bull, winner
“He just ran incredible that last quarter-mile. I was quite concerned in the far turn that he wasn’t getting a hold of the ground very well toward the inside. He was making up no ground. (Jockey) Joel (Rosario) said once he got him in the clear, the ground was a little better on the outside, and he finally hit his stride and started to make his move. I’ll tell you, I didn’t think this horse was going to win until the wire. Remarkable turn of foot.”