Sent off as the 5-2 favorite, Peter Brant's Raging Bull put in a big effort to win Friday's Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes by a nose. The 3-year-old son of Dark Angel, ridden by Joel Rosario, came flying late to finish 1 1/16 miles over Saratoga's yielding turf course in 1:43.69. The win gave trainer Chad Brown an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the Hall of Fame stakes.
Raging Bull settled in seventh in the early going as Gidu raced out to an uncontested lead setting fractions of 23.44 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half going in 47.23.
Completing six furlongs in 1:11.96, Gidu started to tire in front as the field began to engage the leader. Rosario swung Raging Bull out five wide and met with Ride a Comet in the late stretch and surged past Maraud to secure the win by a nose at the wire.
Raging Bull completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.69 over a Mellon turf course listed as good.
“Working with him, it took a little bit of time,” said Rosario. “It seemed like he wasn't handling the turf good on the backside for a little bit. For a second, I thought maybe the horse on the lead [Gidu] was going to stay there, but I'm glad my horse got it done.”
Returning $7.30 for a $2 win wager and earning his first graded-stakes win with the victory in only his fourth career start, the 3-year-old French-bred son of Dark Angel boosted his career earnings to $218,500.
“He just ran incredible that last quarter-mile,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “I was quite concerned in the far turn that he wasn't getting a hold of the ground very well toward the inside. He was making up no ground. Joel said once he got him in the clear, the ground was a little better on the outside, and he finally hit his stride and started to make his move. I'll tell you, I didn't think this horse was going to win until the wire. Remarkable turn of foot.”
Following Maraud in second was Ride a Comet, Gidu, Combatant, Have At It, Westerland, Gunnison and Gemonteer. Sand Dancer and Battle At Sea were scratched.
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