Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Sue Kawczynski
Samraat, who suffered
his first career defeat when second by 3 ½ lengths to Wicked Strong in
yesterday's Grade 1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial, will breeze twice at
Aqueduct before he departs for Louisville, Ky. to compete May 3 in the
Kentucky Derby, trainer Rick Violette said Sunday morning.
two weeks he'll go a half [mile], and then a week later he'll go a
mile, and then on [April 28] we'll get on a plane and go to Kentucky,"
said Violette, who trains the homebred for Leonard Riggio's My
who had previously won the Grade 3 Withers and Grade 3 Gotham and three
races for New York-breds, raced between horses in third early in the
Wood before dropping back to fourth up the backstretch while continuing
to be surrounded. He advanced into second by the three-eighths pole,
came under a drive while trying to match strides with the leader Social
Inclusion, was overtaken by Wicked Strong a furlong from the wire, and
stayed on well to edge Social Inclusion by a nose for second.
horse ran better [than Samraat]," said Violette. "It was a great
experience. He had been clear in his previous starts. Yesterday, he got
surrounded for the first time, which was terrific. It was a learning
experience; he had to run hard to put Kristo away to be able to go after
Social Inclusion. He didn't change leads great up the lane. Again, it
was a new experience chasing down horses off the bridle rather than
inhaling them. I thought he was going to be fourth up the lane. A couple
of times I went 'Oh, well.' He kept finding more. He made three surges.
Strong] ran great," Violette added. "He had a perfect trip. Everybody
else did the hard work, and he picked up the pieces on what might have
been the best part of the racetrack."
contrast to the Wood, Samraat raced outside his main competition in the
Withers and Gotham, and Violette hopes the experience gained by the son
of Noble Causeway will help him when he competes in the Kentucky Derby.
he's a good horse, he's supposed to move forward off this," said
Violette. "Most tough running experiences make the better ones better."