Raging Bull received a highly-favorable pace setup in taking the Shoemaker Mile (G1) last out, but will still likely be favored to pull off a Grade 1 double in Friday’s $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland.
The Maker’s Mark Mile has attracted a field of 10, heavily populated by veterans of the May 25 Shoemaker Mile and June 20 Wise Dan (G2). It’s one of the few Grade 1 turf races that has so far eluded multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, who will be represented by both Raging Bull and Group 1 veteran Without Parole, who placed in the Shoemaker Mile and in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) last fall behind fellow Brown trainee Uni.
The pace of the race is likely to come from the allowance-class High Crime, who stretches out following a dominating allowance win at 5 1/2 furlongs, with last year’s Preakness (G1) winner War of Will likely to be in closest pursuit. War of Will weakened late in the Shoemaker, his first race since November, and was demoted from fifth to sixth due to interference soon after the start.
Next Shares, who captured the 2018 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) over the course and distance, was squeezed at the start of the Shoemaker and lagged far behind before making a belated rally to finish second at odds of 18-1. He registered a close third-place finish in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) two back.
Exiting the Wise Dan at Churchill are English Bee, who missed by a neck to Factor This at double-digit odds; Parlor, who finished third by a length; and Emmaus, who weakened to fifth after rating in third much of the way. Longer prices in the Maker’s Mark Mile field are Hembree, whose only graded victory occurred over 6 furlongs, and Everfast, runner-up to War of Will in the Preakness who debuts on turf here following a second to Owendale in the May 23 Blame S. at Churchill.