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LEXINGTON, KY – In his third attempt to win the prestigious event, Peter Brant’s Raging Bull finally left his mark with a strong stretch-running effort in Saturday’s $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
Raging Bull broke from post 8 under Irad Ortiz Jr. as the 7/2 second choice and settled mid-pack into a ground-saving trip heading into the clubhouse corner.
Get Smokin broke sharply from the rail and took command but came under pressure from Somelikeithotbrown and Flying Scotsman through the first turn and down the backstretch.
Get Smokin and Somelikeithotbrown still led at the 1/4 pole, but Raging Bull made a swift mid-turn move and tipped out to run three-wide inside of Field Pass at the top of the stretch.
Scooting away from his rivals once straightened for home, the Chad Brown-trained Raging Bull drew off and held sway over the late-running Ride a Comet to win the good turf mile route by 2 lengths in 1:33.86.
“He was traveling so good down the backside,” said Ortiz Jr. “I was close to the leaders. I tried to stay in contact with the field. He broke sharp today. I had an advantage there. The first turn, I let him run, then I slowed him down. He relaxed so well. He was like 3 or 4 lengths behind the leaders. I said, ‘I’m just gonna wait until it’s time to go.’ By the 3/8 pole, I saw some separation, so I went for it a little early. He responded well, so I just went for it. He still had something at the end.”
Ride a Comet rallied from last to take second by a 1/2-length over the winner’s Chad Brown stablemate Sacred Life, with Field Pass and the 5/2 favorite Hit the Road another 1/2-length and 3/4 of a length behind, respectively, to complete the top five.
Darain, Somelikeithotbrown, Get Smokin, and Flying Scotsman completed the order of finish.
Raging Bull’s victory came in his third attempt at winning the Maker’s Mark Mile after finishing fourth in the 2019 edition and third by a neck last year. The French-bred 6-year-old improved his record to 18-7-3-3 with $1,496,750 earned.
“Raging Bull got a great trip and setup,” Brown said. “He’s much more effective with a solid pace in front of him. Irad deserves a lot of credit for getting him into the race early and securing a great spot into the first turn.”
Raging Bull returned $9 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.40 to show. Ride a Comet brought back $8.40 to place and $4.80 to show. Sacred Life paid $3.60 to show.
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