Blue Grass or Wood Memorial Next for Gotham Winner Raise Cain

March 5, 2023

Raise Cain after his upset victory in the G3 Gotham (Dom Napolitano)

G3 Jeff Ruby Likely for Scoobie Quando After Battaglia Run

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Andrew N. Warren and Rania Warren’s Raise Cain earned a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure for his authoritative score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack. The son of Violence earned 50 points towards the Run for the Roses with his 7 1/2-length conquest and is now fifth on the leaderboard with 54 total points.

Raise Cain entered the one-turn mile Gotham – the penultimate local Kentucky Derby qualifier – off an uncharacteristic fifth in the Leonatus on January 21 over the all-weather surface at Turfway Park. This effort came following a second in the Gun Runner on December 26 at Fair Grounds Race Course, where he earned four points on the Derby trail.

Trainer Ben Colebrook said Raise Cain could return to New York for the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino, which is the final local qualifier for the Kentucky Derby. The bay colt also could remain at his Keeneland base for the Grade 1, $1 million Blue Grass. Both races are slated for April 8 and award the top-five finishers points based off a 100-40-30-20-10 scale.  

“We’re based at Keeneland and if it wasn’t for that, the Wood would be circled. I guess we’ll just sit back and see how the nominations are,” Colebrook said. “If one is significantly easier than the other, that would change our thinking. If you don’t have to ship, why do it? But the Blue Grass could come up significantly tougher. In which case, we would go to the Wood.”

Raise Cain entered the Gotham as a longshot in a full field of 14 entrants and went to post at 23-1 odds. Despite the influx of horses in the race, Colebrook said the swelled field was more to the horse’s benefit.

“When I really handicapped it, I liked it. I like the cutback angle in horse racing in general, especially this time of year when a lot of horses don’t have much two-turn experience,” Colebrook said. “I thought it was a wide open race. It was definitely tough, but I thought a big field would help him to be honest. He’s so laid back and he’ll do whatever a rider asks him. He’ll fit through gaps and find holes. I kind of thought that would be a good thing, especially with all the pace. I would have rather had that than some monster in a short field.”

Colebrook attempted to pull off an unusual double of saddling horses to victory in two different Kentucky Derby prep races in two different states. The Gotham field left the gate at 5:01 p.m. and Colebrook was back in Kentucky in time to saddle Scoobie Quando – owned by the same connections – in the $150,000 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park, which went off at 9:29 p.m.

After he saddled Raise Cain for the Gotham, Colebrook was immediately en route to JFK Airport.

“Luckily, it worked out. Going to JFK, you pass the chute so I got the Uber driver to stop and I watched them run down the backside,” Colebrook said. “I switched on to my phone and watched the rest of the race, so I got to the airport in plenty of time luckily. The plane was on time so I made it to Turfway as they were walking over to saddle, so everything worked out. I didn’t really consider doing that until the overnights came out and they carded that race late at Turfway. So, I figured why not try it? I always really liked Scoobie, so I wanted to be there for that race.”

Scoobie Quando, a son of Uncle Mo, was behind a wall of horses late in the turn before angling out and rallying to finish second in the 1 1/16-mile test. He earned eight points on the Derby trail.

Scoobie Quando made his career debut at stakes level when capturing the January 7 Turfway Prevue going 6 1/2 furlongs. His runner-up effort in the John Battaglia makes him a likely candidate for the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks on March 25 at Turfway Park. The nine-furlong synthetic test is a 100-40-30-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifier.

“The timing isn’t great but he didn’t really get to run last night. I don’t think it was a tough race, so I’m leaning towards the Jeff Ruby,” Colebrook said. “If the race took a lot out of him, we would probably skip it and look for something on the dirt or the turf with him, eventually. When I had him on the main track at Keeneland, he worked really well on it. I still think the dirt is within his wheelhouse. But if not, we have synthetic and turf to fall back on. The way he ran last night, we have to at least consider the Ruby.”

Scoobie Quando, a $160,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, is out of the multiple graded-stakes winning turfer Daveron, making him a half-brother to multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire March to the Arch and multiple graded-stakes winner Global Access.

Colebrook credited veterinarian and former trainer Dr. Gregory Fox for his recent success on the Derby trail. As a trainer, Fox conditioned graded stakes winners Slew’s Tizzy, Tizdejavu and Battle of Hastings.

“He’s actually how I got together with the owners,” Colebrook said. “He helps selects the horses and he’s at the barn a lot. He’s big into the E-tracker saddle towels that monitor the horses’ works. It’s been exciting because not a lot of owners have two good 3-year-olds at the same time. Raise Cain was the owners’ first graded stakes winner and Scoobie was his first stakes winner. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

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