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Breeders Cup 2015
Kentucky Derby 2017

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Samraat Remains Unbeaten in the Withers

The Withers (G3) was billed as a battle of two New York-breds, Samraat and Uncle Sigh, and that is exactly how the race played out. Right out of the gate they went to the lead and they battled evenly all the way around the track. Samraat was able to prevail by a length when they hit the wire.
Right after the race Samraat’s trainer Rick Violette said, “That was pretty cool. This was a great race for the first of February at Aqueduct. These are two real good horses and it doesn’t matter where they were bred.”
Samraat and Uncle Sigh were designated as the morning line favorites and the betting public had no doubts about who the two best horses were when they were both sent to the post at even money. The two dollar 1-5 exacta combining the two 1-1 horses paid $9.50.
As the leaders went in fractions of :24.00, :48.33, and 1:12.77, they opened up a seven and a half length lead on the rest of the field.
Violette talked more about the battle of the New York-breds, “Hats off to both horses. They ran a huge huge race today. These were two real horses that hooked up. That’s a tough race for both horses. They were stride for stride.”
Samraat came into the race basically unchallenged having won his three previous starts with out being challenged. Today the colt by the relatively unknown New York sire Noble Causeway, earned some very valuable experience. “Despite being three for three going into this, we were still fairly green, we won too easily”, said Violette.  “This is supposed to move a good horse forward. It’s supposed to move him up to another level. So we’ll see. A horse has got to fight at least one or two dances before they get to the major leagues. They did it today, both of them did it.”
Samraat trained for the Withers in Florida at the Palm Meadows Training Center and Violette said that he will return there soon. “He’s going to Florida on Wednesday or Thursday. He’s on a plane out of here.”
Samraat earned 10 points on the road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and based on last year’s point totals this should get him close the Kentucky Derby field.
As for Samraat’s next race on the Derby trail Violette said, “It’s still February and we’ll see. This was a tough race, so we might wait until the Wood Memorial. We’re in a good spot now. If he is kicking the walls down we could come back for the Gotham or Louisiana Derby.”


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Older Comments about Samraat Remains Unbeaten in the Withers...

Thanks Andy,the scratch did not sit well. Samraat looks like he is going to be a good one. Yesterday he showed a dimension that he can at least take a hold and sit off someone and still have run in the stretch. Very important trait.
Tom, I was there and in the paddock for all the stakes. I saw your horse got scratched. Samraat got a 95 in his previous start, the romp in the Damon Runyan.
Per DRF: Samraat likely to have 1 more race before hopeful Derby start. Wood, Fla Derby, La Derby possibilities. Uncle Sigh to Gotham.
They both put on a show Andy. Where you there yesterday? I do not follow the BSF,what was his previous best when he won by 16.
Very enjoyable to watch this one ... a good old fashioned match race.
A great strch run.
BSF of 94 for Samraat's Withers win.
Scotland gets one more chance for me. He just always seems to find trouble, and I'd like to see what he can do with a clean trip. With that being said, Samraat and Uncle Sigh were clearly much the best today.
Thanks for the recap Matt. I've been laid up and missed the race.

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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