Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
“Samraat by a head, Uncle Sigh at the rail, the others
are far back. Now they’re inside the eighth pole and it is Samraat and Uncle
Sigh and they’ve been dueling from the start. Samraat now prevailing by a half-length.
Uncle Sigh is second and Samraat will stay undefeated! He’s four-for-four and
With the concluding words of track announcer John Imbriale,
the renewal of the 2014 Withers Stakes became the most exciting race thus far
on the 2014 Kentucky Derby trail. Samraat has
won all four of his starts, including the Damon Runyon Stakes. His final time in the Withers was a pokey
1:46.31. To be fair, it was the fastest
1 1/16 miles of the day. In fact, it was the fastest 1 1/16 miles run in the last
Samraat (Noble Causeway - Little
Indian Girl, by Indian Charlie) is a My Meadowview Farm homebred has banked $283,200
and has earned ten points in the Kentucky Derby Points system.
His sire Noble Causeway (Giant’s Causeway -
Mimi's Golden Girl, by Seeking the Gold) brought $1,150,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September
Yearling Sale. The son of Giant’s
Causeway is out of a daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Classy Cathy. Like many overpriced yearlings, Noble
Causeway didn’t live up to hefty price tag on the track. He briefly made some noise on the 2005
Kentucky Derby trail with a second place finish in the Florida Derby behind
High Fly, but finished twelfth in Kentucky and sixth in the Preakness. Noble
Causeway’s only other blacktype was earned with a third place finish in the 1
1/8 mile Ben Ali (G-3) at Keeneland. He
retired with a 18-3-6-1 ($360,010) record.
At stud, Noble Causeway has sired 73 winners from 123
foals in four crops, including a Mexican Champion and Group Stakes winner in Venezuela.
Samraat is his sire’s first graded
stakes winner on US soil. Nobile Causeway’s offspring are dirt sprinter/milers.
Samraat is his first winner at 1 1/16 miles. All three of Noble Causeway’s
victories came at 1 1/8 miles over the dirt, so it wouldn’t be farfetched to
say that some of his offspring will handle a route of ground.
Samraat’s dam Little Indian Girl (Indian Charlie -
Brighter Than Gold, by Light Idea) won once in eight starts, a 1 1/16 mile
maiden claiming race. She placed once at 1
1/16 on the turf and once at a mile on the dirt. She retired with an
8-1-1-1 ($22,820) race record.
Little Indian Girl has become a much better broodmare
than she was competitor. All seven foals of racing age have run and six are
winners. Samraat is his dam’s only
stakes winner, however, she also bore his stakes placed half siblings Original
Fate (by Grand Slam), Kaddish (by Bernstein) and Screen Legend (by
Tiznow). Samraat has an unnamed two year
old half-sister by Harlan’s Holiday.
Little Indian Girl is a half-sister to the popular
stakes veteran Nonsuch Bay (by Mr. Greeley). The mare was a two-time winner of
the Banshee Breeze Handicap, plus she recorded victories in the Mother Goose
(G-1), Nassau Bay Breeders’ Cup Stakes
(G-2) and was a runner up in many other stakes races to such greats as
Sightseek, You, Harmony Lodge and Raging Fever.
Samraat’s second dam Brighter Than Gold ( Light Idea - Princess Born, by
Brent's Prince) competed mainly in Ohio-bred races at the allowance and
claiming levels as a dirt sprinter/miler. She’s a full sister to Ohio-bred
stakes winner Light’s Question. There’s
little notable blacktype in past generations of Samraat’s female family. Samraat carries no inbreeding in five
Santa Anita Derby hero Indian Charlie (In Excess (IRE)
- Soviet Sojourn, by Leo Castelli) is Samraat’s damsire. The bob Baffert trainee was a buzz horse on
the 1998 triple crown trail. After trouncing maidens by 12 lengths, Indian
Charlie zipped through two allowance races before beating stablemate Real Quiet
in the Santa Anitia Derby. The undefeated
son of In Excess saw fortunes reversed in the Kentucky Derby, as Real Quiet
wore the roses that day and Indian Charlie finished third. Not only was it his
first loss, but he suffered a career ending injury.
Indian Charlie was a popular, useful sire.
His offspring were best as sprinter milers, although a few won at 1 1/8 miles
and one captured a stakes at 1 ¼ miles. His
son Uncle Sigh was an excellent runner-up to Samraat in the Withers, considering
that Uncle Sigh was making only his third start.
Indian Charlie is a young broodmare sire. His daughters bore 22 stakes winners to date,
and include two-time Canadian Champion filly Biofuel, Champion Two-year-old
Filly Tu Endie Wei and Raven Run (G-2)
winner Gypsy Robin. None of the stakes winners have won past 1 1/16 miles,
although three have placed at 1 1/8 miles and two have placed at 1 ¼ miles.
Samraat is a leggy, lightly built colt with a slightly
upright shoulder. He holds good muscle in his hindquarters. His gait is smooth,
of average extension without superfluous movement. Undoubtedly the most skillful three
year old in New York at this point. Take nothing away from his victories,
Samraat is undeniably talented. However,
despite his gritty Withers win over a lightly raced New York bred, Samraat hasn’t
faced true graded stakes competition.
His pedigree indicates that the farther he goes, the more vulnerable
Samraat will become.
(photo- Matt Shifman)
Samraat’s trainer Rick Violette, Jr. stated after the Withers,
"This was a tough race. We might
wait for the Wood Memorial [April 5]. We're in a good spot now. If he's kind of
kicking the walls down he can certainly come back for the Gotham [March 1] or
we can wait for the Wood or the Louisiana Derby [March 29]. There are a lot of
options." Hopefully for race fans,
Samraat and Uncle Sigh will meet up again before the Kentucky Derby.