Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Raise Cain

March 6th, 2023

In 2012, a colt named Violence won the CashCall Futurity (G1) to emerge as an early contender for the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1). An injury unfortunately led to Violence’s premature retirement, but 10 years after his last race, Violence is poised to seek Derby glory through his sons.

Violence is, of course, the son of champion two-year-old male and three-time Grade 1 winner Forte, an early favorite for the 2023 Kentucky Derby. But Violence picked up another possible Derby contender when his son Raise Cain unleashed a giant rally from behind a fast pace to dominate Aqueduct’s Gotham (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby by 7 1/2 lengths.

Raise Cain Pedigree
Medaglia d'Oro
Violent Beauty
Raise Cain
Lemon Drop Kid
Lemon Belle
Queenie Belle

This leads to an important question: does Raise Cain have the pedigree to win the Derby? While Violence has proven to be a successful sire, he has a reputation for passing on speed more than stamina. Prior to the emergence of Forte, Violence was best known in North America for siring the Grade 1-winning sprinters Dr. Schivel, No Parole, and Volatile.

All told, his progeny have won at an average distance of 6.7 furlongs, reiterating Violence’s position as a source of speed, though he has sired graded stakes winners at 1 1/4 miles in South America.

Fortunately for Raise Cain, there’s stamina in the bottom half of his pedigree. Dam Lemon Belle scored her lone victory sprinting six furlongs, but as a broodmare, three of her four winners have done their best work racing one mile or farther.

That isn’t surprising since Lemon Belle is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) winner Unrivaled Belle and a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, a tried-and-true route racer who won the Belmont (G1), Travers (G1), Woodward (G1), Whitney H. (G1), Futurity (G1), Suburban H. (G2), and Brooklyn H. (G2) over distances from one mile to 1 1/2 miles.

Voted champion older male of 2000, Lemon Drop Kid has consistently passed on stamina at stud, with his progeny winning at a lofty average distance of 7.9 furlongs. Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Lemons Forever... two-time Pacific Classic (G1) winner Richard’s Kid… Arlington Million (G1) hero Beach Patrol… Spinster (G1) winner Romantic Vision… Canadian International (G1) winner Cannock Chase… the list of Lemon Drop Kid’s long-winded Grade 1 winners is impressive.

Lemon Drop Kid has also proven successful as a broodmare sire, with his daughters producing high-class runners over a variety of distances and surfaces. Among the best are Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Forever Unbridled, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) heroines Bar of Gold and Finest City, and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Tamarkuz.

Violence might not be the most likely sire of a Kentucky Derby winner based on his stud record to date, but with the stamina of Lemon Drop Kid counterbalancing Violence’s speed, Raise Cain may have the pedigree for success racing 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs.

Further Analysis on Raise Cain