Gotham Stakes and Raise Cain 2023 Prep Race Recap

Kentucky Derby prep race recap of the 2023 Gotham Stakes winner Raise Cain.
Kentucky Derby prep race recap of the 2023 Gotham Stakes winner Raise Cain. / Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

The Championship Series races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby featured 15 major prep races that awarded 50 to 100 points to the winner and a spot in the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Derby.

The 1-mile Gotham Stakes on March 4 was won by longshot Raise Cain (23/1), who came from the back of the pack and rallied to the lead at the furlong market before pulling away to win by more than 7-lenghts. He won the race over a sloppy and muddy (sealed) track, and then came back to finish a distant 5th in the Blue Grass Stakes behind winner Tapit Trice - a leading favorite in the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Ben Colebrook has not yet settled on a jockey to ride Raise Cain in the Kentucky Derby. Gerardo Corrales was in the irons for his recent workout before the horse is shipped to Churchill Downs Monday of Derby week.

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Raise Cain Kentucky Derby Longshot

Raise Cain will be a big longshot in the Kentucky Derby, according to FanDuel Racing odds. He came on strong against a below-average field in the slop in the Gotham Stakes. The rest of his fast-track form shows that this runner can not compete with the best of his crop, which showed with his 5th place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes and a final 3/8 mile time of 38:10. Raise Cain is sired by Violence, who also sired top 2023 Kentucky Derby favorite Forte.

Nine of the last 11 Kentucky Derby winners and 19 of the last 25 finished the final three furlongs of their final prep race in under 38 seconds.

Aqueduct Racetrack is located in the South Ozone Park and Jamaica neighborhoods of Queens, New York City. The Gotham Stakes has been run at Aqueduct since 1960 at various distances. Since 2018, the race has been 1-mile, and from 2006 to 2017 it was 1 1/16 miles. Two horses have won both the Gotham and Kentucky Derby - Dr. Fager (1967) and Secretariat (1973). The legendary Easy Goer set both the stakes and track record at 1 mile in the Gotham with a time of 1:32.40 in 1989. He then finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby.

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