Choosing to bet on Chad Brown-trained horses on grass is normally a good idea. However, sometimes a poor trip hampers their runs like any other horse as turf racing inevitably leads to more traffic. Also, Brown is not afraid to run sharp horses from his stable against each other.
For example, Brown has entered both Without Parole and Raging Bull in the Grade 1, $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile on Friday at Keeneland.
Both of them exit the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, with Raging Bull the victor. But, Without Parole experienced enough traffic problems to give bettors justification that he can turn the tables.
In the initial stage, Raging Bull lagged in eighth, eight lengths off the pace led by the trio of Voodoo Song, Neptune’s Storm and War of Will.
Meanwhile, Without Parole settled closer inside in sixth, 3 ½ lengths off the lead. The front group put some separation on the last three horses.
The leaders blazed the opening quarter in 22.16 and half-mile in 44.75.
On the far turn, Without Parole moved up on the inside, but an opening failed to pop up. Instead, he waited for room behind Voodoo Song and War of Will. As Without Parole continued to wait and wait, Raging Bull wound up his run on the outside and took aim at the front horses.
In midstretch, Without Parole still searched for room behind War of Will and Neptune’s Storm. The path finally came when Neptune’s Storm faded out of the picture late. Now, Without Parole moved forward.
As Without Parole waited for room though, Raging Bull already mowed down the leaders and pulled clear under mild urging. He opened up to win by 2 ¼ lengths over Next Shares, who flew outside from the clouds after getting squeezed at the start.
Watch Without Parole in the last strides. Once he found his path between War of Will and River Boyne, he moved with Next Shares.
Without Parole’s third in the Shoemaker Mile is excused.
Cross out Without Parole’s 11th in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational as well. Given he lost ground in the stretch and competed in mostly mile races before, he likely found the distance too long.
Three starts ago, Without Parole closed for third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, 2 ¾ lengths behind a sharp Uni and Got Stormy. The Breeders’ Cup effort marked Without Parole's best placing since he won the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Ascot in June 2018 overseas.
In this spot, Without Parole is capable of securing a clear position from Post 8 on the first turn. He is likely to enjoy a nice pace and less traffic.
If he does not win this time, then it is time to give up.
The aforementioned Raging Bull can pull off another victory too at roughly the same price as last time. It all depends on the pace and trip.
In addition to his Shoemaker Mile win, Raging Bull finished well in all of 2019 runs, even though he failed to win any of them. For example, Raging Bull closed for second in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1), third in the Manhattan Stakes (G1) and fourth in the previous Maker’s Mark Mile (G1), Turf Classic Stakes (G1) and Woodbine Mile (G1).
Because Raging Bull is a closer, he is always subject to traffic problems, even though he got the best of Without Parole last time.
One longer price to consider is the 2019 Preakness runner-up Everfast, who is an improved 4-year-old colt under trainer Jack Sisterson.
This year, Everfast has shown improved early speed.
In an April 18 Oaklawn optional claimer, Everfast pressed the pace before gamely finishing second to the familiar Bob Baffert-trained Dessman. Then one month later, he stalked the pace closely in the Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs before giving a nice effort in the stretch by outdueling Silver Dust for second, as Owendale won.
Can Everfast run on turf? His second dam Native Roots shows an all-European turf pedigree, although Take Charge Indy and Awesome Again possibly in the immediate family possibly cancel that influence out.
At a price, Everfast is worth including.
The last option to discuss is Next Shares, who deserves credit for his runner-up finish in the Shoemaker Mile. He experienced trouble at the start when War of Will shifted inwards, causing trouble with another horse who then came into Next Shares' path and shut him off.
Regardless, Next Shares is a 7-year-old gelding that is still capable in “normal” Grade 1 races on his better race days. His two clunkers in recent times came in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Pegasus Turf, both of which are excusable as he bounced back into form after each flop.
Next Shares needs another top effort. If he gives his best shot after a hot pace though, he is capable of mowing them down for the win.
To touch upon War of Will, he is a firm tossout because he lacks one turf win. In every one of his turf races, which includes four tries as a 2-year-old, he secures a good position and then fades in the stretch.
His pedigree says turf, but he runs like a true dirt horse who needs to create separation on the turn in order to pick up the victory. Otherwise, the field is going to swallow him up if he waits until too late to move.
Can a horse who lacks one turf win in five tries post his first turf victory in a Grade 1 race? Yes. But regardless, it is not a good wager.
Under Chad Brown, this weekend is the right time for Without Parole to pick up his first victory since the St. James’ Palace two years ago. He is the top choice, followed by his stablemate Raging Bull. Everfast and Next Shares are lower on the priority list, but they are viable options.