Raise Cain to Breeze Monday at Keeneland for Belmont

May 28, 2023

Raise Cain three days ahead of Kentucky Derby 149 (Coady Photography)

NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y.— Andrew and Rania Warren’s Grade 3 Gotham winner Raise Cain will breeze on Monday at Keeneland in preparation for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.

Trained by Ben Colebrook, the Violence bay was a troubled eighth last out in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, finishing 10 lengths back of the victorious Mage. He had his first work back on May 22 at Keeneland, covering a half-mile in 50.80 seconds.

“He’s come out of the Derby good and he’ll work again tomorrow,” said Colebrook by phone from Kentucky. “If all is well, we’ll ship up right before the race. He’ll do all his work here.”

Raise Cain saved ground in ninth position through the early running of the Derby and made his move into the stretch only to be stymied by the fading pace presser Kingsbarns.

“He had a good trip early, but late in the race he got wiped out by Kingsbarns stopping and Disarm was coming and we got sandwiched and shuffled back. But he came running again to get up for eighth,” Colebrook said.

The $180,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase rose to prominence with his 7 1/2-length Gotham romp in March at Aqueduct Racetrack traveling a one-turn mile over a muddy and sealed main track.

Recruiter and Carmel Road dueled through swift splits of 22.52 seconds and 45.53 in the Gotham, but Raise Cain, who was 11th-of-14 early, advanced willingly under Jose Lezcano, overcoming traffic problems at the quarter-pole before swinging four-wide to take command with an eighth to run and drawing clear.

The talented bay exited that effort to finish a late-moving fifth into slow fractions in the Grade 1 Blue Grass in April at Keeneland, closing from 10th-of-11 in the nine-furlong route won by Belmont Stakes-rival Tapit Trice.

With a moderate pace often the norm in the 12-furlong Belmont, Colebrook said he is entrusting jockey Junior Alvarado with working out a more prominent trip.

“I don’t think we’ll get as much pace in the Belmont as we got in the Gotham unfortunately. So, we’ll have to work out a different trip,” Colebrook said. “In the Blue Grass, we were just a little too far back off of slow fractions. If there’s slow fractions in the Belmont, we’re going to have to be a little bit closer and I think Junior will be great for that.”

Colebrook, a former assistant for New York-based Christophe Clement, enjoyed past success in 2018 at Belmont with Limousine Liberal, who he saddled to a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Met Mile and a neck victory over Whitmore in the Grade 2 Belmont Sprint Championship.

“I remember going there the first time when I was working for Christophe Clement and everyone tells you how big it is,” said Colebrook of the famous Big Sandy. “But then you get out there as an exercise rider and the sheer size and scope of the place is like nothing else. It’s a different atmosphere for a horse with those sweeping turns.”

Pedigree could be on Raise Cain’s side in the Belmont being sired by a son of Medaglia d’Oro, who finished second in the 2002 Belmont Stakes. His dam, Lemon Belle, is by Lemon Drop Kid, who won the 1999 Belmont Stakes.

There’s significant route depth to Raise Cain’s profile as his second dam is multiple graded-stakes winner Queenie Belle, who produced millionaire and 2010 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Unrivaled Belle.

Scoobie Quando breaks his maiden on debut in the Turfway Prevue (Coady Photography)

Colebrook said Andrew and Rania Warren’s stakes-winner Scoobie Quando was a little flat going into his off-the-board effort last out in the Grade 2 American Turf on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs.

The Uncle Mo sophomore had his first work back on Friday at Keeneland, covering a half-mile in 50.60 over the lawn.

“He’s doing good. I don’t really know what happened that day. He was uncharacteristically dull and quiet before the race and he kind of ran that way, so we’re just freshening him back up,” Colebrook said. “He worked on the turf at Keeneland on Friday and all went smooth. We haven’t picked out a target yet, but he’s a nice horse and we’ll get him back in a race shortly.”

Scoobie Quando made his first three starts over the Turfway Park synthetic, graduating on debut in the Turfway Prevue and finishing second two starts later in the John Battaglia Memorial. He was off-the-board in his lone dirt try in the Grade 1 Blue Grass.

“We experimented with the dirt because he’s an Uncle Mo and you have to with a 3-year-old colt, but his female family is all turf,” Colebrook said. “We’ll stick to turf or synthetic. There’s nothing wrong with having a turf horse right now.”

Scoobie Quando, out of the multiple graded-stakes winning turfer Daveron, is a half-sibling to March to the Arch – a dual graded-winner on turf – and Global Access, who won a graded race on both turf and synthetic. Scoobie Quando was purchased for $160,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

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