The movie “Raging Bull,” screened in 1980, was the story of boxer Jake LaMotta, portrayed by Robert De Niro in an Academy Award-winning performance.
The horse Raging Bull figures to have a serious fight on his hands when he attempts to turn the tables on the filly, Got Stormy, in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
Raging Bull was cutting back to a flat mile with trainer Chad Brown hoping that a good pace would enhance his chances in the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga last month. The pace wound up to be scorching, but that was not particularly of a helpful nature as Gidu sped off to a double-digit lead. That one couldn't come close to lasting the distance, but it left his opponents with a difficult choice as to when to go for the knockout punch.
Got Stormy pulled the trigger earlier than Raging Bull, who was still trailing the field of 10 with a quarter-mile to run and was unable to seriously threaten the winner. He did show tenacity, however, in closing for second money in a late battle with his favored female stablemate Uni, who like Raging Bull is conditioned by Brown.
“He ran a good race,” said Brown, who is at the Keeneland yearling sales this week with Raging Bull's owner, Peter Brant.
Raging Bull, unraced at two, came out as a sophomore, winning his first two starts prior to ending second when making his stakes debut in Belmont's Manila. The four-year-old Dark Angel colt subsequently has won three stakes, headlined by Del Mar's Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at 1 1/8 miles on the grass last December 1.
In his first try at the mile distance this season, which came in his 2019 debut, Raging Bull finished a close fourth in Keeneland's Grade 1 Makers Mark Mile in his usual honest effort. Will he appreciate the sweeping turn and long stretch run on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course?
“I think so—that's my hope, anyway,” said Brown. “He's doing really well.”
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