Raise Cain breaks his maiden Oct. 9 at Keeneland (Coady Photography)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Andrew Warren and Rania Warren’s dual stakes-placed Raise Cain, who is tabbed at 30-1 odds on the morning line, will vie to upset an overflow field in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham for sophomores traveling a one-turn mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Gotham, which awards 50-20-15-10-5 qualifying points towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby to the top-five finishers, is part of a stacked Saturday card at the Big A that co-features the $200,000 Busher, a 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Oaks qualifier, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap for older horses.
Trained by Ben Colebrook, Raise Cain was last seen finishing a distant fifth in the one-mile Leonatus on January 21 over the Turfway Park synthetic where he tracked in fifth before making a mild bid at the three-quarters call to improve to third position. The son of Violence came under urging from Luan Machado but retreated at the top of the stretch and was defeated 7 1/2 lengths by Funtastic Again.
“He’s doing good and he got there in good shape. He trained at Belmont this morning and everything is A-OK,” said Colebrook. “We tried the [synthetic] because it’s what we’re running on at home and I thought he might like it, but he didn’t really have the same kick at the end of his races, so we are going back to the dirt.”
Raise Cain, who was assigned post 12 in rein to Jose Lezcano, is in search of his first stakes victory after earning two stakes placings as a juvenile in the Bowman Mill at Keeneland [third] and the Gun Runner at Fair Grounds Race Course [second]. The former effort came just 20 days after an impressive second-out maiden coup sprinting seven furlongs at Keeneland, winning by 5 1/4 lengths after pouncing from third-of-nine in the turn. The bay colt completed the race in 1:25.07 and improved greatly from a debut eighth-place finish in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden tilt in September at Churchill Downs.
“He always touted himself in the mornings like he was a pretty decent horse,” said Colebrook. “He ran first time and needed the race, and then he came back and validated what we’d been seeing in the mornings. We ran him back a bit quick and I think he does need a little more spacing between his races. He ran good at Fair Grounds and he came out of that well. Obviously, the [synthetic] race didn’t work out well, but now we’re excited to get him back on the dirt hopefully for a good performance.”
Colebrook said that while the colt was not a physically imposing juvenile, he has always shown great mental maturity.
“He wasn’t a really big, strong horse as a 2-year-old – he was kind of lighter-framed and a little narrow,” said Colebrook. “He’s filled out and put weight on now. I think his biggest and strongest attribute is his mind. He never gets worried, he travels well and ships good, and for a 3-year-old, that’s a big thing because a lot of the time you’re going all over the place to find the right races for them. He can take his show on the road.”
Colebrook added that Raise Cain’s level-headedness, along with the fact that he has already earned black type when shipping, gave him the confidence to make a trip to the Empire State.
“We were trying to find something back on the dirt and were thinking of a ‘1X’ at Oaklawn, but this race came up first,” Colebrook said. “He shipped [for the Gun Runner] and it didn’t take a lot out of him. He did everything right at Fair Grounds and we hope he can do that here.”
With plenty of early speed expected from the likes of Carmel Road and Eyeing Clover, Colebrook said Raise Cain could be poised to create an uproar with a late run in the stretch on Saturday.
“I don’t think his post matters as much in the one-turn mile. I would rather have his post with his running style than the 1 or the 2,” said Colebrook. “With that long run down the backside, the race should run fairly quickly up front and hopefully he doesn’t have to go super wide. This race sets up well because there’s a lot of speed in there and he broke his maiden around one turn, so hopefully he can be rolling late and work out a good trip. He’s got a good jockey on him, so we’re excited.”
A $180,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Raise Cain is out of the winning Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Belle, a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire and 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Unrivaled Belle. He boasts $103,578 in total purse earnings from a record of 5-1-1-1.