Belmont 2023: Raise Cain will breeze at Keeneland on Monday

Belmont 2023: Raise Cain will breeze at Keeneland on Monday
Photo: Susie Raisher / NYRA

Raise Cain, winner of the Grade 3 Gotham, will breeze Monday at Keeneland in preparation for the Belmont Stakes.

Owned by Andrew and Rania Warren and trained by Ben Colebrook, the Violence bay was a troubled eighth last out in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 10 lengths back of the victorious Mage. He had his first work back 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,” Colebrook said 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 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 Blue Grass (G1) 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 success in 2018 at Belmont with Limousine Liberal, whom he saddled to a third-place finish in the Met Mile (G1) and a neck victory over Whitmore in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G2).

“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 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Unrivaled Belle.

Colebrook said the Warrens' stakes winner Scoobie Quando was a little flat going into his off-the-board effort last out in the American Turf (G2) on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs.

The Uncle Mo sophomore had his first work back Friday at Keeneland, covering a half-mile in 50.60 seconds 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 Blue Grass (G1).

“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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