For the second consecutive year, Raging Bull opened up his season with a Grade 1 victory when taking Friday’s $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland under Irad Ortiz Jr.
In part the beneficiary of a hot pace of :22.47, :45.65, and 1:10.24 alternatively set by the dueling pair of Get Smokin and Somelikeithotbrown, Raging Bull saved ground in mid-pack, swung three wide at the quarter pole, and powered home to a two-length victory, his third at Grade 1 level.
“Raging Bull got a great trip and setup. He’s much more effective with a solid pace in front of him,” trainer Chad Brown said. “Irad deserves a lot of credit for getting him into the race early and securing a great spot into the first turn.”
Owned by Peter Brant, Raging Bull returned $9 after completing the course in 1:33.86 on good ground. Ride a Comet rallied from the rear of the field to take second by a half-length over Sacred Life, a stablemate of the winner.
Field Pass, 5-2 favorite Hit the Road, Darain, Somelikeithotbrown, Get Smokin, and Flying Scotsman completed the order of finish.
Although he endured an inconsistent 2020 campaign, Raging Bull had opened his season’s account with a victory in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. He was beaten a neck when third in the Maker’s Mark Mile, held in July due to the pandemic, but a second in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) was book-ended by unplaced efforts in the Fourstardave H. (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Earlier in his career, at three, Raging Bull captured the Hollywood Derby (G1) as well as the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3) at Saratoga. The French-bred now sports a record of 18-7-3-3, $1,496,750.
Bred by Dayton Investments Limited, Raging Bull was produced by the stakes-placed Rosa Bonheur, by Mr. Greeley. His second dam was Italian highweight and U.S. Grade 3 heroine Rolly Polly.
Limestone Turf Sprint
Back sprinting after finishing sixth in the one-mile Herecomesthebride (G3) in her season debut, Tobys Heart maintained her perfect record around one turn with a half-length victory over Goin’ Good in the $100,000 Limestone Turf Sprint for three-year-old fillies.
Owned by Terry Hamilton, Gary Barber, and trainer Brian Lynch, Tobys Heart paid $6.40 as the 2-1 favorite after completing 5 1/2 furlongs on good ground in 1:02.29 under Javier Castellano. Second choice Goin’ Good had a 1 3/4-length advantage on 15-1 chance Navratilova.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Jack Milton, Tobys Heart won both her starts at two. A 6 3/4-length maiden win at Churchill Downs in June was followed by a 1 1/4-length decision in the Bolton Landing S. at Saratoga in August. Stretching out in the Feb. 27 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream, Tobys Heart bid for the lead approaching the stretch before weakening down the lane.
“We got her back doing what she likes to do and hopefully the rest of the year is a good one for her,” Lynch said.
A $45,000 OBS March juvenile purchase, Tobys Heart was produced by the stakes-winning Pick of the Pack, a Lil’s Lad half-sister to Grade 3-winning grass sprinter Great Attack.