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Samraat Stays Perfect in the Gotham

Samraat stamped himself as a serious 2014 Kentucky Derby contender as he remained unbeaten with a thrilling victory over Uncle Sigh and In Trouble in the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct.

Samraat had to overcome a less than perfect trip, a swing in weights, and a very good field of nine to win his fifth race in a row. In the Gotham, Samraat was carrying the high weight of 123 pounds and was giving seven pounds to the second place finisher Uncle Sigh and three pounds to In Trouble, the show horse.
Going in to the first turn, Samraat was forced wide and continued down the backstretch in the three path behind the pace setters In Trouble and Uncle Sigh. That left Samraat wide again going around the final turn. Down that stretch the three of them battled stride for stride. The drive included some bumping at the top of the stretch that led to a general steward’s inquiry.
In the end, the stewards rightfully took no action as all three horses were a bit rough with each other. Samraat got the win by a neck over Uncle Sigh and he was a neck ahead of In Trouble.
Trainer Rick Violette talked about the quality of his horse, “Today you had to be impressed. He was packed pretty wide in the first turn and he just kept pressing on. This is a real horse now. We knew we had a shot to be a real horse after the Withers. He’s a real horse today. This was a good field, a deep field with some really good horses in here.”
“This was another hard stretch duel, but Jose never hit him, said Violette. “Today he graduated big time. The last race was a terrific race. This was a notch above that. He was wide on both turns. He was pretty impressive today.”
Violette talked about the seven pound edge that Uncle Sigh had, “The weight really had me worried. We picked up five pounds and actually Gary’s horse dropped a couple.  That’s a big shift and given we had 123.”
With the 50 Road to the Derby points that Samraat earned, he moved into 
the lead and passed Intense Holiday who has 53 points. Samraat has a spot in the Derby field locked up. However Violette had already been entertaining some Derby thoughts, “I’d be lying to you if I said we weren’t really thinking about it.  At this stage we didn’t want to do anything to would prevent us from going to the Derby. A couple of races before the Derby probably toughens him up.”
Samraat heads back to Palm Meadows Training Center Florida in Florida tomorrow where Violette will get Samraat ready for the $1,000,000 Wood Memorial on April 5th.


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Older Comments about Samraat Stays Perfect in the Gotham...

Impressed w/ the winner. I had my doubts thinking that the added 5 lbs. would do him in. I was wrrr, wrrrr, wrrrong.
ZATT's Star of the Week, is ... Samraat!
starting to like Samaraat. gutsy horsd who has a nose for the wire
96 BSF for Samraat in the Gotham
I think Private Terms was another Gotham graduate that went onto a decent career.
Racing history is in the very capable hands of buckpasser and SSilence86. Thanks guys!
SS. Yes you are right about them.
Not to mention the notable careers by Gotham winners- Dr. Fager, as well as Lure & Devil His Due which they were a dead heat for the win in their edition of the Gotham.
SS. Yes he did. Also won the DC International. Finished back of the pack in the Arc with Career Boy taking a 4th.
Didn't Fisherman win it 2 years earlier than Career Boy?
The 1956 winner was Career Boy who ran with his stable mate Fisherman for CV Whitney with Eddie Arcaro in the irons in the Arc that year which was won by the immortal Ribot.
It should also be noted that this race has produced 3 year old eclipse winners, as well as a few Horse of the Year.
Jaipur won in 1962 and won the Belmont Stakes. Also the race was first run in 1953, so why have a cut off of 1955? Also for the 1958 edition it was changed so that only four yr olds and up ran.
The 1953 edition of the Gotham produce winner Native Dancer, who went on to miss the TC by a head.
In the history of the Gotham (since 1955) only 3 winners have gone on to success in a Triple Crown event: Secretariat (Triple Crown), Easy Goer (Belmont), and Red Bullet (Preakness).
Ortiz did a great job getting Samraat into position.. Uncle Sigh did better than what anyone expected. The Raat will be a for REAL contender in the derby
In Trouble ran good.But i would not get to excited until he duplicates the effort. Same with the top 2 finishers. Not to tale anything away from them.But the Aqueduct strip today resembled Indianapolis Speedway in North Miami. The only horses to win off the pace were the 2 solid favorites who were well better than the competition.In both races ,the speed horse held 2nd. The rail today as well as the front ens was gold.So you see,there aren't any even racetracks as some may think.
I'd really like to see In Trouble come back in the Wood. He may have been a tad short today after a long layoff and first around two turns. If they can get him to sit just off the pace...
It will be interesting to see where they go from here. Logically, it would be the Wood. Suspect that will be class-test time (especially for Samraat); and distance test time for In Trouble; as for Uncle Sigh he is marginal on both counts but the most likely of the three to pass the test. What a brave effort between horses in the stretch.
Glad I made the trip. Hope Violette has him kicking down the barn for April.

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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.


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