Edward P. Evan's Raging Fever used her dominating speed to its best advantage in winning Saturday's $155,100 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length over a game Smok'n Frolic at Aqueduct.
To the surprise of no one, Raging Fever led from the start, covering the mile in 1:34 4/5 under jockey Aaron Gryder. It was the 11the win in 21 career starts for the 5-year-old Storm Cat mare, who won her first race of the season. The winner's share of $93,960 increased the homebred's earnings to $1,407,405.
"You never know what everyone else is thinking, or what they are going to do," said winning trainer Mark Hennig, after Raging Fever s got away with easy fractions of :23 3/5; :47 and 1:103 before being roused to fend off Smok'n Frolic. "Fortunately, we finally had a good draw. Forty-seven is about as slow as she'll ever run a half in her life. I was a little worried because it was almost too slow. For a horse that is that quick, it could kind of lull them to sleep and make it tough to get started again. We're very pleased with her today."
Gryder has ridden Raging Fever in each of her last three starts, getting his first win with her on Saturday. "It was great," he said. "She broke good and was real relaxed. The way she was doing it, she was just in a comfortable gallop. I really didn't have to restrain her. I asked her to pick it up at the three-eighths pole, and she did. They are going to have a lot of fun with her this year. I'm just glad I got to be a small part of it." It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Nonsuch Bay in third in the field of five.The winner, off at 9-10 odds, returned $3.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Smok'n Frolic returned $2.60 and $2.10. Nonsuch Bay's show was $2.10. The $2 exacta was $8.