SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – In what is quickly becoming commonplace, Peter Brant’s Raging Bull made his usual stretch rally to run past the leaders before running off late to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga.
Breaking from post 3 as the 2/1 favorite under Joel Rosario, Raging Bull settled along the inside in mid-pack while Up the Ante led through opening splits of :23.25, :48.04, and 1:12.11. Tipped out in the far turn in order to run five-wide at the top of the stretch, Raging Bull put forth a furious effort and picked off several foes as he advanced to the front. Collaring the pace-setter inside the final 1/16, the Chad Brown trainee continued to run strong through the wire, crossing with a 1 1/4-length lead in a final time of 1:47.19 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the good turf surface.
“The race was perfect,” Rosario said. “He broke well. Chad told me just let him be and get my position and not have to check him, just let him be. If he wanted to be fourth, just let him be. When I got to the outside heading for home, I knew he would come running because he liked that spot and he was moving very nice and took off.”
Up the Ante held on for second, edging a late-bursting March to the Arch by a neck. Farther back, Hot Springs finished fourth over Golden Brown, while Sand Dancer necked out Therapist for sixth. Free Drop Billy‘s first foray onto turf failed to produce anything better than eighth, with Maraud failing to fire and completing the order of finish.
Raging Bull’s win was his second straight, following the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes here at the beginning of August. The French-bred 3-year-old son of Dark Angel improved his overall record to 5-4-1-0 with earnings of $383,500.
“I was very pleased,” said Brown, who earlier on the card won his record-breaking 41st of the Saratoga meet (the Saranac was his 42nd). “This horse got a great trip. I just want to say that Joel Rosario rode an unbelievable race. When you have a horse that’s talented but runs from behind on turf, you’re very trip-dependent, and I just can’t believe what a trip this horse got. He made every decision the right one at every pole of this race. A lot of credit goes to him.”
Raging Bull returned $6.50 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Up the Ante brought back $4.80 to place and $3.60 to show, while March to the Arch paid $6.20 to show.