Raging Fever Wins Garland of Roses

Raging Fever won for the first time this year, scoring a 1 1/2-length victory Saturday in the $82,775 Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct.

Dat You Miz Blue, the favorite, stalked Raging Fever from the gate to wire, but she was unable to overtake the leader and finished second in the field of seven fillies and mares 3 years old and up.

"She made the lead and was strong the whole way," said winning rider Aaron Gryder. "She got away with a fairly soft first quarter, and she rally kicked on nicely in the stretch."

Look of the Lynx was another four lengths back in third, followed by Carafe, Tina Dynamite, Golightly, and Elektraline.

Raging Fever, a 3-year-old Storm Cat filly, carried 116 pounds. She covered six furlongs in 1:10.38 on the fast track, earning $49,665 for owner Edward Evans.

"This filly was hurting when she ran in the Beaumont (Keeneland in April)," said trainer Mark Hennig. "She broke slow, was a half-length off Xtra Heat and had to check out of it. When she was right, she was always quick away from the gate. If the other horse wanted the lead, we would have been content to let her drop over.

"I was confident today because she had been training better than she had been in a long time. I probably could have found an allowance race at the end of November, but she wasn't ready much before that. She'll go to Florida on Monday, and I would like to run her at Gulfstream in January."

Raging Fever returned $7.60, $3.10, and $2.60. Dat You Miz Blue paid $2.40 and $2.10 and Look of the Lynx showed at $3.40. The winning exacta paid $16. (Chart, Equibase)