(Raging Bull romps in the late stretch to narrowly win the G1 Hollywood Derby / Photo by Benoit and Courtesy of Del Mar Turf Club)
From the Del Mar Media Team:
With a devastating rally in the stretch, 9-5 favored Raging Bull, an Eastern invader piloted by Joel Rosario, powered past a game River Boyne in the final strides to win the Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby Saturday at Del Mar.
In scoring his third victory on the program, Rosario was content to allow Raging Bull to cruise along near the rear of the 13-horse field in the early furlongs before turning him loose on the far turn to burst into contention from the outside. Taking dead aim on the 5-2 supported River Boyne, who had surged to the lead in the upper stretch, Raging Bull overhauled his rival nearing the wire to win by a half-length in 1:48.34 for the mile and one-eighth over the infield grass course.
River Boyne, who was piloted by Flavien Prat, was courageous in defeat, finishing two and three-quarter lengths ahead of third-place Instilled Regard, with Prince Earl fourth. Californiagoldrush was withdrawn from the original field.
Chad Brown, the nation’s leading trainer thus far in 2018, conditions Raging Bull as well as Instilled Regard, who was third. Brown won the 2016 Hollywood Derby with Annals of Time.
Raging Bull, a French-bred son of Dark Angel owned by Peter Brant, scored his fifth victory in seven starts and first money of $180,000 increased the bay colt’s earnings to $584,500. He returned $5.80, $3.40 and $2.80. River Boyne paid $3.40 and $2.80, while Instilled Regard returned $4.40 to show.
Rosario, who rode in the West with success for several years before relocating on the East coast, preceded his Hollywood Derby success with wins in the third race, aboard Eddie Haskell ($5), and Sauce On Side ($7.80) in the sixth.
Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Drayden Van Dyke combined to win the final two races of the afternoon. Kingly took the eighth, paying $10.20, while Super Patriot won the ninth at $16. It was Van Dyke’s 17th win of the fall season, placing him one in front of Prat going into Sunday’s final day of the 16-day meeting.
Post time for the first of nine races Sunday is 12:30 p.m, featuring the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes for older fillies and mares.
JOEL ROSARIO (Raging Bull, winner) – “I thought I was on the best horse, so I rode him that way. With him, he has a powerful quarter mile kick at the end. Terrific acceleration. So I just needed to keep him outside; keep him in the clear where I could ride him at the finish. It worked out just the way I’d hoped.”
FLAVIEN PRAT (River Boyne, second) – “He ran great; excellent race for him. I think maybe he likes a mile better.”
FLORENT GEROUX (Instilled Regard, third) – “Very good effort from him, especially for his first time on the grass. And he showed good tactical speed; he was right up there with them. That speaks well for the future. He has lots more options now.”
JOSE HERNANDEZ, assistant to Chad Brown (Raging Bull, winner) – “I expected him to be a little closer in the first part. The speed had been holding in the earlier turf races. But he came from off the pace very well. (Joel) Rosario is a good rider and he knows what he’s doing, especially here in California. One (race) down, three (horses to saddle in Sunday’s Matriarch) to go.”
FRACTIONS: :23.70 :48.20 1:12.48 1:36.74 1:48.34
The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Rosario and his first in the Hollywood Derby. He now has 25 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the first of the meet, but the second (Annals of Time, 2016) in the Hollywood Derby for trainer Brown. He now has six stakes wins at Del Mar, five of them in Grade I races.
The winning owner is Peter Brant of Greenwich, CT.