Raise Cain made his trip from Kentucky to the Big Apple worthwhile on Saturday with an upset, come-from-behind victory in the $300,000 Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct.
Sent off at 23-1 in a seemingly wide-open field of 14 three-year-olds, Raise Cain relished the mud and ran away from the field in the final furlong to win the one-mile test by 7 1/2 lengths under Jose Lezcano.
Raise Cain endured an interesting trip in the Gotham. Settled near the rear of the field down the backside, he was tucked in down the rail in the run around the far turn, began picking off horses, but was forced to check momentarily approaching the quarter pole.
Working his way outside the horse tiring in front of him turning for home, Raise Cain settled in the four path, grabbed the lead approaching the eighth pole and drew off to a dominating score.
“He finally had some pace to run into, and I think that’s what he’s been missing to be honest,” trainer Ben Colebrook said. “He never really had any pace to close into except in his maiden win. I don’t know that it’s necessarily one turn that he needs, but I definitely think pace to close into is what he needs because he’s such a relaxed horse and he can make that one big run like he did today.”
Owned by Andrew Warren and Rania Warren, Raise Cain paid $49 after finishing the course in 1:38.09. Two other closers, Slip Mahoney and General Banker, rallied for second and third, respectively, while 3-1 favorite Eyeing Clover finished fourth after stalking in third most of the way.
The order of finish was rounded out by Clear the Air, Mr. Swagger, Lugan Knight, Carmel Road, Radio Red, Transect, Recruiter, Uncorrelated, and Clubhouse. Howgreatisnate unseated his rider at the start, but raced with the field throughout the entire mile and crossed the wire ahead of them all save the winner.
Raise Cain earned 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby (G1), and now has 54 in total. Slip Mahoney earned 20 points, while General Banker increased his total from nine to 24. Eyeing Clover earned 10 points, and Clear the Air five points.
This was the first stakes win for Raise Cain, who has now won two of six starts. A maiden winner second out at Keeneland going seven furlongs, he subsequently finished third in the six-furlong Bowman Mill S. at Keeneland, second in the Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds, and fifth in the Leonatus S. at Turfway Park over Tapeta.
“He’s bred to go longer and if he were to go on to the Derby, you usually get plenty of pace in there,” Colebrook said. “I think more than anything pace is what he needs. He’s never run a bad race.”
Bred in Kentucky by Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds and a $180,000 Keeneland September graduate, Raise Cain is by Violence and out of Lemon Belle, a Lemon Drop Kid half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Unrivaled Belle. The latter is the dam of champion Unique Bella.
Shidabhuti led a one-two exacta for trainer Chad Brown in the $200,000 Busher S. for three-year-old fillies. The 5-1 fourth choice in a field of six, Shidabhuti outstayed odds-on favorite Asset Purchase to win the one-mile test by two lengths under Dylan Davis.
Owned by Peter Brant, Shidabhuti returned $12.60 after completing the course in 1:39.03. Asset Purchase had 1 1/4 lengths on Capella, who was clear of fourth-placed Ziaerati. Completing the order of finish were La Vita Sofia and Check Engine Light.
“Both fillies ran well,” Brown said. “Dylan used good judgment on Shidabhuti to stay close and they weren’t going really fast. He put her in the clear in the stretch and he timed it just right.”
Shidabhuti earned 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1), virtually assuring her spot in the starting gate of the Churchill Downs fixture. in the interim, Brown said the daughter of Practical Joke would “probably” stretch out to 1 1/8 miles in the April 8 Gazelle (G3) at Aqueduct. Asset Purchase earned 20 Oaks qualifying points, Capella 15 points, Ziaerati 10 points, and La Vita Sofia boosted her total from one point to six.
Shidabhuti is perfect from three starts. Victorious by 6 1/2 lengths in a six-furlong maiden at Monmouth Park in September, she scored by two lengths in her Jan. 22 comeback, a one-mile allowance at Aqueduct.
Bred in Kentucky by Gabriel Duignan and the late Gerry Dilger, Shidabhuti was produced by the Candy Ride mare A. P. Candy. Her third dam was the multiple Grade 1-winning Dream Supreme. Shidabhuti sold for $210,000 at Keeneland September.