by Najja Thompson
Taking advantage of a ground saving-trip by jockey Joel Rosario, Peter Brant's Raging Bull earned his second consecutive graded stakes victory on Saturday in the Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds on the Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course.
Breaking from post 3 as the 2-1 favorite, Raging Bull stalked comfortably from fourth position as Up the Ante led the field of nine through fractions of 23.25 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.04 for the half.
Rosario shifted Raging Bull from the rail to the sixth path at the quarter-pole and Raging Bull was put in a full drive at the top of the stretch. Hooking up with Up the Ante at the eighth pole, Raging Bull extended away to secure the victory by 1 ¼ lengths at the wire.
He completed the 1 1/8 miles distance in a final time of 1:47.19.
"The race was perfect," said Rosario. He [Raging Bull] 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."
The Chad Brown trainee returned $6.50 for a $2 win wager. Raging Bull, an Irish-bred son of Dark Angel, boosted his career earnings to $383,500; picking up his fourth win from five starts this year and second consecutive graded stakes following a victory in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame on August 3.
"I was very pleased. This horse got a great trip," said Brown. "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.
"The horse should really be undefeated. He got caught in a paceless race going a mile at Belmont [Manila on July 4] and ran a big, big race to close. He just couldn't get there. It's the only blemish on his record. This horse has a remarkable turn of foot. He knows where the wire is. He's an immense talent."
Following Up the Ante in second was March to the Arch, Hot Springs, Golden Brown, Sand Dancer, Therapist, Free Drop Billy and Maraud completing the order of finish.