Woodbine Mile Has Open Feel


Raging Bull winning the Maker's Mark | Coady


Saturday's GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile serves as a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Fanduel Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar in six weeks' time, and a legitimate case can be made for at least half of the 10 runners set to face the starter.

Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}), promoted to third in this event in 2019, is the proven Grade I runner in the field, having scored three times at the highest level. The Peter Brant colorbearer made the most of his seasonal debut, belying a five-month absence to post a two-length success in the GI Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland Apr. 9. Unlucky when denied by Oleksandra (Aus) (Animal Kingdom) in the GIII Poker S. at Belmont June 20, the bay took all the pari-mutuel action for Saratoga's GI Fourstardave H. Aug. 14, but never really landed a blow, finishing sixth of eight behind Got Stormy (Get Stormy). With Frankie Dettori accepting the call, Raging Bull should take plenty of beating, but he will need to bring his 'A' game.

Mark Casse has three chances for a third Mile, all of whom are lined up next to one another. Drawn lowest of the trio in gate two is Gary Barber's in-form Olympic Runner (Gio Ponti), a longshot fourth to Starship Jubilee (Indy Wind) last year and exiting a 1 1/4-length success in the course-and-distance GII King Edward S. Aug. 15. March To the Arch (Arch) ran on to complete the exacta 12 months ago, rallied into a strong past to annex the July 25 Niagara S. going nine panels and was a latest third, with some traffic trouble, in the King Edward. Ride a Comet (Candy Ride {Arg}) was runner-up to Raging Bull in the Maker's Mark, raced too close to the pace from a high draw in the nine-furlong GI Old Forester Turf Classic May 1 and finished well to be third behind Set Piece (GB) (Dansili {GB}).

Town Cruise (Town Prize) looks to be the controlling speed of the race and is favorably drawn in the inside stall for Daisuke Fukumoto to make best use of that weapon. The 6-year-old wired a field going a mile and a sixteenth at 70 cents on the dollar July 4 and set a cracking pace in the King Edward before clinging on for second. If able to settle early on, he could prove sneaky at a big price.

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