Feb 07, 2014
Samraat remains perfect with Withers win
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Ozone Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Co-favorite Samraat kept his record perfect Saturday by winning the $250,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. The 1 1/16-mile stakes is a prep for Aqueduct's $1 million Wood Memorial on April 5,
Trained by Richard Violette and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Samraat and Uncle Sigh, the 11-10 co-favorites, battled throughout the race and into the stretch. Samraat edged past Uncle Sigh nearing the wire and was able to post a length victory to remain undefeated in four starts.
"It was a long drive," said Violette. "(Uncle Sigh) was kind of tested in his first race. We haven't been. We left the rest of the field. As fast as we went early, it wasn't like all of a sudden somebody from out of the clouds was going to get there. Hats off to both horses. They ran a huge, huge race today, and I think they'll show up later in the year."
Finishing third was Scotland followed by Classic Giacnroll, Honorable Judge and Street Gent.
The time for the Withers was 1:46.31 on a fast track.
Samraat, owned by My Meadowview Farm, adds $150,000 to his bankroll which now stands at $283,200. The colt picked up 10 points towards starting in the Kentucky Derby on May 3.
"This was a tough race," Violette said. "We might wait for the Wood Memorial ($1 million, 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 ($500,000, March 1) or we can wait for the Wood or the Louisiana Derby ($1 million, March 29). There are a lot of options."
Samraat was coming off a 16 3/4-length victory in the mile, 70 yard Damon Runyon Stakes in his final 2013 start.
Samraat returned $4.30, $2.50 and $2.10. Uncle Sigh paid $2.60 and $2.20, and Scotland paid $3.10 to show.
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