Horses cannot read the program or the toteboard, and that was proven once again in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Los Alamitos on Saturday as Raising Kain scored a 29-1 upset with a one-length victory. Making his first start outside of Texas and Louisiana, Raising Kain returned $61.20 for a $2 win bet after dashing 350 yards in :17.406 with Francisco Calderon up for trainer Trey Wood. The Texas-bred gelding by Down N Dash is owned by Pete Scarmardo and was bred by his wife, Jo.
Although his odds were long, Raising Kain had shown plenty of talent with a record of 6-2-1-2 coming into the John Deere, including a win in the John Deere Retama Juvenile Challenge. The gelding was trained in Texas by Leon Bard and moved to Trey Wood’s barn in California.
“They were having trouble in the gates with the 2 horse,” said Paul Leal, assistant to Wood about the extended loading process. “My 1 horse (The Kat In The Hat) was in there a long time, and I think that’s what got him. We had two other bullets in there. Raising Kain was second to last to load and he left there running. He didn’t look back and when they do it like that they make it easy. He ran an excellent race. Thanks to Leon Bard back at home. This is his horse and we are just helping him out. He told me everything about the horse and we did exactly what he wanted us to do.”
The victory, which pushed Raising Kain’s bankroll to $99,113, was extra sweet for the Scarmardos, as they own the stallion Down N Dash and also Raising Kain’s dam Smooth Money Raiser, a daughter of Smooth Bravado who had little success as a racehorse but performed well as a barrel racer.
Jim Walker’s homebred Time For Jesse Lee, an Idaho-bred son of Mr Jesse Lee, closed to take second with the Corona Cartel filly Leesa Gone Wild, a Ruidoso Downs shipper trained also trained by Wood, crossing the wire third.
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