Raging Bull goes back into the ring for G1 Fourstardave

August 11, 2021

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Peter Brant’s Raging Bull will be out for redemption against an all-graded stakes winning field for Saturday’s 37th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave for 4-year-olds and upward going one mile over the inner turf at Saratoga Race Course.

Raging Bull, who finished second in 2019 and fifth a year ago, will look to give trainer Chad Brown his first win in the Fourstardave, a “Win And You’re In” event offering an automatic entry into the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 6 at Del Mar. 

Four of the last ten editions of the Fourstardave were captured by the subsequent winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile with World Approval [2017], Tourist [2016] and Wise Dan [2012-13] securing the Fourstardave-Breeders’ Cup Mile double. 

This year’s Fourstardave field has won a cumulative 22 graded stakes races, which will see Raging Bull attempt a fourth graded stakes triumph. 

Raging Bull, a three-time Grade 1-winner with earnings in excess of $1.5 million, secured his top-flight triumphs over three different ovals. At three, he shipped to Southern California to capture the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar after earning graded stakes triumphs at the Spa in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame and the Grade 3 Saranac. The French-bred 6-year-old son of Dark Angel commenced his last two seasons in Grade 1-winning fashion with victories in the Shoemaker Mile in May 2020 at Santa Anita and the Makers’ Mark Mile on April 9 at Keeneland. 

Raging Bull enters off a troubled second in the Grade 3 Poker on June 20 at Belmont Park, racing in fifth along the rail down the backstretch while four horses battled up front. Lacking racing room in upper stretch, he made an inside rally at the eighth pole but was unable to catch in-the-clear outside runner Oleksandra, losing by a head. 

“I’m hoping he can stay off the inside with a better trip,” Brown said. “His turn of foot seems to be his best characteristic. He’s in as good of form as he’s ever been in. I love the way he’s been training. He’s a remarkable horse, very consistent.”

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. retains the mount from post 1. 

Raging Bull will face seven other challengers, including stablemate and fellow Peter Brant color-bearer Blowout, who is one of three accomplished distaffers taking on males in the Fourstardave. 

Known for her frontrunning fashion, Blowout was a last-out pacesetting winner of the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile on May 1 at Churchill Downs. Never worse than third – and never beaten more than three-quarters of a length in 11 lifetime starts – the daughter of Dansili made her lone Grade 1 start when second beaten a nose to stablemate Viadera in the Grade 1 Matriarch in November at Del Mar. 

Both Raging Bull and Blowout were bred by Dayton Investments. Raging Bull is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Rosa Bonheur. Blowout is out of the Group 1-winning Deep Impact mare Beauty Parlour. 

Jockey Joel Rosario, a two-time Fourstardave winner, rides Blowout from post 8. 

Jim and Susan Hill, who owned 2015 Fourstardave winner Grand Arch, will be represented by four-time Grade 1-placed Daddy Is a Legend, who makes her first start against males for trainer George Weaver. 

The 6-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy was a late-closing third in the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game on June 5 at Belmont Park behind the Godolphin-owned Althiqa and Summer Romance who replicated said exacta in the Grade 1 Diana on the Spa’s opening weekend. 

Also, third in the 2019 Just a Game behind Rushing Fall and Beau Recall, Daddy Is a Legend notched Grade 1 black type with runner-up efforts in the Matriarch at Del Mar in 2018 and 2019. 

“I think a mile is her best distance,” Weaver said. “We were looking at this race after she ran big in the Just a Game and those two fillies came back and ran well here. If she takes another step forward, we’re hoping that Saturday can be her day.”

Daddy Is a Legend made the grade in December 2017, capturing the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante in November 2017 at Del Mar. She won the following year’s Grade 3 Lake George at Saratoga. 

“She’s a very good racehorse. She’s talented but the other thing she has that all good racehorses have is the fact that she shows up. She gives what she has,” Weaver said. “Right now, she’s doing well, she’s happy and she’s all business. We’re looking forward to running her.”

Jockey Manny Franco rides from post 3. 

Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse will send out Got Stormy, who seeks a non-consecutive victory in the Fourstardave. Owned by MyRacehorse Stable and Spendthrift Farm, the outstanding daughter of 2010 Fourstardave winner Get Stormy faced males for the first time off one week’s rest in the 2019 Fourstardave, which she won by 2 ½ lengths in a track record 1:32 flat while recording a career best 109 Beyer. A six-time graded stakes winner, Got Stormy boasts the highest bankroll in the field with earnings in excess of $2.1 million. 

A victory would make Got Stormy the first dual Fourstardave winner since two-time Horse of the Year and recent Hall of Fame inductee Wise Dan [2012-13]. 

Breaking from post 6, Got Stormy will be ridden by regular pilot Tyler Gaffalione. 

Trainer Brad Cox will carry momentum from recent victories with Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner Essential Quality and Grade 1 Whitney winner Knicks Go when saddling Juddmonte’s Set Piece for his Grade 1 debut. The Dansili homebred brings three straight wins to Saturday’s engagement. After Churchill Downs stakes victories in the Opening Verse on April 29 and the Douglass Park on May 29, Set Piece defeated graded stakes winners Somelikeithotbrown and Ride a Comet in the Grade 2 Wise Dan on June 26 over the Louisville oval. 

“He’s a Grade 2 winner and obviously he has a good pedigree that all Juddmonte horses do, and it helps some of the siblings that come up from the broodmare band as well,” Cox said. “He deserves the opportunity to take a swing at a Grade 1 and we’ll see what he can do.”

Florent Geroux returns to the saddle from post 5. 

Following a victory in the Grade 1 Jackpocket Jaipur on June 5 at Belmont Park going six furlongs, Casa Creed will stretch back out to one mile for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The 5-year-old Jimmy Creed bay, third in last year’s Fourstardave, took the Grade 2 Hall of Fame in August 2019 going one mile over Saratoga’s inner turf. 

Owned by LRE Racing and JEH Racing, Casa Creed looks to become a fifth Fourstardave winner for Mott, who campaigned Hap [2000], Silver Tree [2007], Seek Again [2014] and Tourist [2016]. 

Jockey Junior Alvarado will ride from post 4. 

Three Diamonds Farm’s Field Pass is a four-time graded stakes winner at four different tracks for trainer Mike Maker. The gray or roan son of Lemon Drop Kid won the Grade 3 Baltimore Washington International Cup on July 24 at Pimlico last out. During his sophomore season, he won the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park and the Grade 3 Ontario Derby at Woodbine – both over synthetic surfaces. He also won the Grade 3 Transylvania last July over the Keeneland turf.

Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. rides from post 7.

Rounding out the field is Electric City Racing, Madaket Stables, Christopher Dunn and Jeremy Peskoff’s Whisper Not, who won the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile two starts back for trainer Richard Baltas. 

Jockey Jose Ortiz picks up the mount from post 2. 

The prestigious Fourstardave honors the “Sultan of Saratoga” who earned his nickname by winning at least one race at the Spa from 1987-94. Trained by Leo O’Brien and owned by Richard Bomze and Bernard Connaughton, Fourstardave’s signature Spa wins included the 1988 Albany Handicap as well as two non-consecutive wins in the West Point [1989 and 1991]. Fourstardave secured two triumphs in his namesake race when run as the Daryl’s Joy [1990-91]. 

The Fourstardave is carded as Race 9 on Saturday’s 11-race program at Saratoga Race Course, which also includes the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special presented by Miller Lite, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for juveniles over the main track. First post is 1:05 p.m. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the summer meet on FOX Sports. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule

Raging Bull placed second in an exciting 2019 edition of the Fourstardave.

Got Stormy – 2019 – The Fourstardave Handicap

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NYRA Press Release

Photo: Under jockey Joel Rosario Raging Bull (#4) battles it out to the finish with Maraud (on the rail) with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., up in the 2018 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. Grade 2 at Saratoga. (Elsa Lorieul)

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