Gainesway's Raging Bull Hits the Mark for Breeders

MGISW Raging Bull will stand for $10,000 at Gainesway Farm in 2022.


It can be a daunting task, bringing a horse untried on dirt to a stallion barn in Kentucky. But Gainesway Farm has nothing but confidence in their new addition, believing Raging Bull (FR) (Dark Angel {Ire} -Rosa Bonheur, by Mr. Greeley) has a unique combination of characteristics that will prove irresistible to American breeders.

“We're very excited to have Raging Bull,” said Gainesway Farm's Sean Tugel. “Gainesway was really established on bringing turf milers over here from Europe, so we're kind of going back to our roots. Turf racing in America continues to grow in stature and Raging Bull was an extremely talented horse, making 22 starts including 15 Grade Is. His sire, Dark Angel, is respected worldwide as a great source of speed and precocity, so I think he fits the mold of a successful stallion.”

Raging Bull has only been at Gainesway for a few weeks now, having shipped in from Del Mar after the GI Breeders' Cup Mile, but Tugel said breeders have been thrilled by what they've seen with the strapping bay.

“From the initial viewings by the breeders, they're really excited when he comes out,” Tugel said. “Physically, he's a big, strong horse. He's got a lot of leg under him and he has bone and substance. I think he's the kind of horse that you can really imagine getting dirt horses as well as turf horses and that's what really separates him apart from previous turf horses who have stood in America, that size and stature that he presents.”

Machmer Hall's Carrie Brogden was impressed after her first visit with Raging Bull.

“I was kind of surprised because you don't expect to have a turf horse that is so big and grand,” she explained. “He had size and presence and was dappled from head to toe. He was sound as a bell and charged up and down the lane when we saw him. He has size and scope, much more like an American horse than a European horse. I understand why he's here. He's big and beautiful and anyone who sees him is going to realize that.”

Owner Peter Brant and Raging Bull make their way to the winner's circle for the GI Hollywood Derby | Benoit

Archie St. George shared a similar first impression.

Raging Bull is a lovely horse,” he said. “He looks unbelievable. Turf racing has become very well-received over here and he has a lot of quality, presence and strength, so I would imagine that he's what the breeders want.”

The six-year-old's sire, Dark Angel, is a resident of Yeomanstown Stud and currently sits atop this year's European Leading Sires of 2-Year-Olds list.

“Dark Angel has established his credentials worldwide as a sire of sires,” Tugel noted. “He's been so successful everywhere else in the world but we haven't gotten a really top-notch son of his here in America yet. Certainly this is the first one. He's a great influencer of speed and with the miler/sprinter types, so I think bringing that to America is a great advantage for every American breeder.”

Bred in France by Dayton Investments Limited, Raging Bull is the third foal out of the stakes-placed Mr. Greeley mare Rosa Bonheur and is the grandson of Rolly Polly (Ire) (Mukaddamah), an Italian highweight at two who later claimed a pair of graded stakes in California for Bobby Frankel

“On the female side, Mr. Greeley stood here at Gainesway so it's dear to our hearts, but it also gives us a lot of hope that he can be a cross-surface stallion and it gives it a little bit of an American feel as well,” Tugel explained. “Breeders can easily relate to the Mr. Prospector line. Raging Bull is a great outcross to all American stallion lines and he's a horse that will fit a lot of people's breeding programs in America.”

Campaigned by Peter Brant, Raging Bull was a debut winner as a 3-year-old at Keeneland's 2018 spring meet. That summer, the Chad Brown trainee claimed consecutive victories at Saratoga in the GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. and the GIII Saranac S. He stepped up to Grade I company in the Hollywood Derby and rallied from the back of the field to win by half a length.

As an older horse, Raging Bull won the GI Shoemaker Mile S. at four and the GI Maker's Mark Mile S. at five, scoring a 106 Beyer Speed Figure in his final career victory.

“The Maker's Mark Mile this year was an excellent race and really showed his determination,” Tugel said. “He weaved in and out of horses and had really good speed. To show up in the spring and beat a very talented field in front of all the breeders really put the cap on his career.”

The top-class performer retired with earnings of over $1.7 million after winning or placing in 12 graded contests over his three-year career, including a runner-up effort to MGISW Got Stormy (Get Stormy) in the 2019 Fourstardave H. as well as a second-place performance against Ivar (Brz) (Agnes Gold {Jpn}) in the 2020 GI Shadwell Turf Mile S.

Raging Bull all alone in the GI Shoemaker Mile S. | Benoit

“It's incredible when a horse can maintain that Grade I level over multiple seasons,” Tugel said. “To have that competitive will and to keep showing up every single time and line up in 15 Grade I races, it takes a lot of heart and a lot of soundness. He showed up and tried every single time. He had seven triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. He's a horse that has that will, determination and soundness, and that's usually what separates the good ones.”

Tugel said when Gainesway was approached by owner Peter Brant about the possibility of standing Raging Bull upon his retirement, the farm jumped at the opportunity.

“He was on a lot of farms' lists and we were following him for a long time. Milers make great stallions and he was a consistent miler throughout his career. Soundness is something that we need in our breed and is also something that he brings, having made 22 career starts over multiple seasons.”

Raging Bull will stand for a fee of $10,000 in 2022.

“He's already been extremely well-received,” Tugel said. “People love him when he comes out of the barn. He's one of those horses that grabs your imagination. The fact that he ran in the Breeders Cup and then shipped right in and looks as good as he does, that's why he ran 22 times and was able to hold up to it. The same class that he showed on the racetrack, he's shown already here at Gainesway.”

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