Under normal circumstances, River Boyne would have had the race won, but the late-year grass races at Del Mar feature a different kind of competition than a run-of-the-mill turf stakes in the Golden State.Among a host of challengers from the East for the 1 1/8-mile test was Peter Brant’s Raging Bull, who began his rally from the back of the field under jockey Joel Rosario and just got past the last-out Twilight Derby (G2T) winner in the final strides.

The half-length score was the first grade 1 victory for the French-bred Dark Angelcolt, who also won the Aug. 3 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2T) and Sept. 1 Saranac Stakes (G3T) at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Chad Brown.

Instilled Regard, also trained by Brown, edged longshot Prince Earl for third.

Raging Bull raced in 11th early as Have At It set fractions of :23.70 and :48.20 through a half-mile, but the race dynamics changed in the backstretch, where grade 1 winner Carrick and jockey Kent Desormeaux rushed up from a stalking position and had a head in front through six furlongs in 1:12.48.

Carrick’s advantage didn’t last as River Boyne took over and Raging Bull rallied three wide through the entirety of the final turn. Rosario wasn’t concerned with the ground loss, however, because he felt he was on the best horse, and he was rewarded for the clean trip with a big kick in the stretch to finish the distance in 1:48.34 on a course rated firm.

“I thought I was on the best horse, so I rode him that way,” Rosario said. “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.”

Carrick held fifth and was followed by Fight OnRisky PropositionDesert StoneKazanPlatinum WarriorWay Early, Have At It, and Pubilius Syrus to complete the order of finish.

Bred in France by Dayton Investments Limited, out of the Mr. Greeley mare Rosa Bonheur, Raging Bull now has five wins from seven starts and $584,500 in earnings. He was a $100,935 purchase by Eugenio Colombo from The Castlebridge Consignment at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale in 2016.

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