With the aid of a hot pace, Raging Bull landed a knockout blow in Monday’s $302,500 Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, the second Grade 1 Southern California score for the Peter Brant-owned 5-year-old.
Third from last most of the way as Voodoo Song set a contested pace of :22.16, :44.75, and 1:08.56, Raging Bull made a wide rally into contention approaching the quarter pole, circled the field entering the stretch, and kicked clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths under Joel Rosario.
“They looked like they were going a very pace and he was very controlled back there,” said Rosario of Raging Bull. “He came with a run like he does all the time. He came out and put in a nice run.”
Trained by Chad Brown, Raging Bull covered the mile on firm turf in 1:32.73 and paid $7.80.
The drama in the race occurred at the start when reigning Preakness (G1) winner War of Will, making his first start since last fall’s Breeders’ Cup, ducked in at the start and squeezed Voodoo Song, Next Shares, and True Valour. Next Shares dropped back to a distant last but, also aided by the fast pace, rallied to edge the Brown-trained 2-1 favorite Without Parole for second by a half-length. Finishing fourth was River Boyne.
War of Will crossed the wire in fifth, but was disqualified and placed sixth behind True Valour for the early interference. The order of finish was rounded out by Neptune’s Storm, Blitzkrieg, Voodoo Song, and March to the Arch.
This was the first win for Raging Bull since his Hollywood Derby (G1) triumph at Del Mar in December 2018, which followed earlier scores in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3). Last season, Raging Bull placed in three of five outings, including the Manhattan (G1), Fourstardave H. (G1), and Woodbine Mile (G1).
Bred in France by Dayton Investments Limited, Raging Bull is by Dark Angel and out of the stakes-placed Rosa Bonheur, a Mr. Greeley half-sister to Italian highweight Rolly Polly.