2023 Kentucky Derby Hopeful Snapshots: Elevate Cain


Welcome to 2023 Kentucky Derby Prospect Snapshots, the place we’ll have a look every week at a latest winner on the Triple Crown path, often from the Street to the Kentucky Derby schedule from which the racehorses earn factors towards qualifying.

The 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve shall be held Could 6, 2023, at Churchill Downs.

This week, we’ll take a more in-depth have a look at Raise Cain, winner of the $300,000 Gotham Stakes on March 4 at Aqueduct.

Elevate Cain earned 50 factors towards qualifying for the 2023 Kentucky Derby with the Gotham win and moved into fifth place on the latest Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 54 total points.

Racing Résumé: Coming into the Gotham Stakes, Elevate Cain had just one win – a seven-eighths of a mile maiden particular weight race in October 2022 at Keeneland – to his credit score from 5 earlier begins. One doable indicator that he was able to exceeding his 23.50-1 odds within the Gotham was that his finest prior effort in a stakes race got here on the grime when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the Gun Runner Stakes Dec. 26, 2022, at Fair Grounds, the place he completed a rallying second to Jace’s Road.

He entered the one-turn-mile Gotham off a fifth-place end, crushed by 7 ½ lengths, going a mile on the artificial Tapeta Footings floor at Turfway Park within the Leonatus Stakes.

It’s simple to look again at a longshot race winner after the very fact and establish why we should always have seen it coming, however when horses are 20-1 odds or increased there may be often a reasonably good motive. Elevate Cain was dealing with a full subject of 14 runners within the Gotham that was a greater group than he had confronted within the Leonatus, racing on an “off” or moist observe for the primary time in his profession, and his pace figures had been under lots of his opponents.

After all, none of that mattered when the beginning gates opened as Elevate Cain clearly relished the sealed-muddy observe and, after dropping again to 11th early, benefited from a quick tempo by means of a gap quarter-mile in :22.52 and a half-mile in :45.53. Howgreatisnate, a free horse within the race after unseating his rider at first, additional put strain on the main horses as he charged forward and went proper previous the pacesetter.

In consequence, the Gotham was an odd prep race on quite a few fronts.

“He lastly had some tempo to run into, and I feel that’s what he’s been lacking to be trustworthy,” profitable coach Ben Colebrook mentioned. “He by no means actually had any tempo to shut into besides in his maiden win.”

Variables apart, what can’t be denied is that Elevate Cain turned in a terrific effort in overcoming site visitors hassle on the flip after which surging clear within the stretch to win by 7 ½ lengths underneath Jose Lezcano with a remaining furlong in 13:01 seconds. In doing so, he additionally primarily assured himself a spot within the 2023 Kentucky Derby beginning gate, and stepping into the race is a big a part of the problem for a promising 3-year-old. Because the outdated adage goes: “It’s a must to be in it to win it.”

Velocity Figures: The pace figures for the Gotham got here again stable however unspectacular. Elevate Cain earned a 91 Equibase Velocity Determine, one level off the career-best 92 he earned within the Gun Runner. He would wish to enhance by a bout 20 factors to be a Kentucky Derby win candidate, which is why it was encouraging to listen to that he shall be pointed to a different prep race earlier than the run for the roses.

The Day by day Racing Type’s Beyer Velocity Figures paint a extra promising image of Elevate Cain’s Gotham win as he earned a 90, a nine-point bounce from his earlier finest and nearer to hanging vary of a few of his extra completed 3-year-old friends.

Working Model: Elevate Cain has raced off the tempo as a closer-stalker in every of his six begins. He’s not devoid of early pace as he confirmed in his maiden win at Keeneland, however he does appear to want to drop again and make one sustained late rally. He was actually capable of maintain it within the Gotham.

One problem we talk about usually on this weblog that closers and stalkers usually want some racing luck because it pertains to site visitors in a 20-horse Derby subject. With a number of runners launching their bids on the identical time and angling for a similar opening whereas different runners within the race run out of fuel and fade, site visitors can grow to be a problem. Whereas being pressured to test in site visitors close to the quarter-pole within the Gotham didn’t damage Elevate Cain, the same little bit of hassle within the Kentucky Derby might price a 3-year-old a top-three end in crucial race of their life.

Connections: Elevate Cain was the primary graded stakes winner for homeowners Andrew Warren and Rania Warren, whose Scoobie Cuando completed second later March 4 within the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park. Scoobie Cuando turned their first stakes winner when he received the Turfway Prevue Stakes Jan. 7. Andrew Warren bought Elevate Cain for $180,000 on the 2021 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Coach Ben Colebrook’s father, John, managed farms in Central Kentucky and Ben started working with horses whereas attending the College of Kentucky. Ben Colebrook later served as an assistant to trainers Fred Seitz and Christophe Clement earlier than going out on his personal in 2012. Colebrook conditioned Knicks Go to a win within the 2018 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and a runner-up end in that yr’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He additionally conditioned top-class sprinter Limousine Liberal, a a number of graded stakes winner in 2017 and 2018.

Jockey Jose Lezcano rode Elevate Cain for the primary time within the Gotham. A 3-time winner on the Breeders’ Cup World Championships who has received greater than 3,100 profession races, Lezcano’s finest lead to a Triple Crown race was a runner-up end within the 2010 Kentucky Derby aboard Ice Field. Elevate Cain’s different riders have been Gerardo Corrales (three races) and Luan Machado (two begins).

Pedigree Notes: Elevate Cain is from the sixth crop of Grade 1 winner Violence, by Medaglia d’Oro. Violence was the main first-crop sire of 2017 and second-crop sire for 2018. He ranked 10th on the overall sire record for 2022 and is within the midst of one other robust yr in 2023 with returning champion 2-year-old male Forte profitable the Fountain of Youth Stakes final weekend in his first begin as a 3-year-old.

Whereas lots of Violence’s high runners have excelled as sprinters, he has additionally had his share of high quality two-turn graded stakes winners comparable to Newgrange and Speak Veuve to Me in addition to Forte.

Elevate Cain was produced by the profitable Lemon Drop Child mare Lemon Belle, a half-sister (identical dam [mother], totally different sire [father]) to 2010 Breeders’ Cup Girls Basic winner Unmatched Belle, who produced two-time champion Distinctive Bella. Elevate Cain’s grandam (maternal grandmother), Queenie Belle, by Bertrando, was a a number of graded stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles.

Derby Potential: Given Elevate Cain’s breakthrough Gotham win got here in a surprisingly run race (free horse, quick tempo) on a sealed-muddy observe, it’s affordable to be skeptical because it pertains to his Kentucky Derby probabilities. Rely me in that group.

Nevertheless, I do assume the Gotham was extra consultant of Elevate Cain’s capacity than his reasonably uninteresting effort within the Leonatus Stakes in his 3-year-old debut. He has a lot bettering to do to be regarded within the high tier of this 3-year-old class, however I’ve to confess I preferred what I noticed from him and I’m most likely increased on his future than most. His subsequent begin will both be within the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland or the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct, each on April 8.

“We’re primarily based at Keeneland and if it wasn’t for that, the Wooden can be circled. I assume we’ll simply sit again and see how the nominations are,” Colebrook mentioned. “If one is considerably simpler than the opposite, that will change our pondering. In the event you don’t should ship, why do it? However the Blue Grass might come up considerably more durable. By which case, we’d go to the Wooden.”

If he takes even a small step ahead in his remaining prep race, Elevate Cain may very well be an intriguing longshot on Kentucky Derby day.