(Raging Bull wins the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile / Coady Photography)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
Irad Ortiz Jr. (winning rider of Raging Bull [FR])
“He was traveling so good down the backside. I was close to the leaders. I tried to stay in contact with the field. He broke sharp today. I had an advantage there. The first turn, I let him run then I slowed him down. He relaxed so well. He was like 3 or 4 lengths behind the leaders. I said I’m just gonna wait until it’s time to go. By the three-eighths pole, I saw some separation so I went for it a little early. He responded well, so I just went for it. He still had something at the end.”
Chad Brown (winning trainer via text)
“Both horses (Raging Bull and stablemate and third-place finisher Sacred Life [FR]) ran great, especially given the layoffs they were facing. Raging Bull got a great trip and setup. He’s much more effective with a solid pace in front of him. Irad deserves a lot of credit for getting him into the race early and securing a great spot into the first turn.”
Whit Beckman (assistant to Chad Brown)
On the difference that enabled Raging Bull to win his first graded stakes at Keeneland in his fourth start in a graded stakes at the track. In April 2018, Raging Bull won his career debut here.
“Hard to say. Different day, different conditions. But historically this turf course has been tough for him.”
On what his future holds
“Hopefully more of the same. If he can come back and continue winning Grade 1s, it would be a good 6-year-old year for him.”
Tyler Gaffalione (rider of runner-up Ride a Comet)
“We saw a lot of speed on form. We did not plan on being that far back, but he kind of hopped out of the gate. From there I thought I would save some ground and make a (late) run. In the stretch, I wheeled him out and he really finished strong. The winner kind of got the jump on us at the top of the lane and (Ride a Comet) had just a little too much ground to make up.”
Dan Blacker (trainer of fifth-place finisher and beaten favorite Hit the Road)
“Obviously disappointed but really thankful to the owners to take a (chance) to come all the way from California. I don’t regret taking a (chance). We had a lot of time between races and we felt like this was the right time for a race like this.
“On paper, the race looked like there would be plenty of speed and (jockey) Florent Geroux did a good job getting him into a good spot early. He was a little farther back than he typically is, but with the (fast) pace I don’t think it was the wrong move. He followed the winner the whole way. He just did not have that late kick turning for home like he did in California.”