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Feb 28, 2014

Unbeatens to meet in Gotham Stakes


Ozone Park, NY ( - In Trouble and Samraat, a pair of unbeaten 3-year-olds, top the 11-horse field for Saturday's $500,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

The 1 1/16-mile stakes comes five weeks before the $1 million Wood Memorial on April 5.

As part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points system, winning the Gotham will be worth 50 points toward a spot in the Run for the Roses on May 3.

Trainer Tony Dutrow has local winner In Trouble making his 2014 debut in the Gotham. The colt, owned by Team D Stable, has drawn the inside post with his regular rider Joe Rocco Jr. in the saddle.

"I don't know (about the distance), but I feel good about trying it," said Dutrow. "He's excellent; he's really, really happy. I feel the horse is ready to give us what he's got Saturday."

In Trouble won Belmont Park's Futurity on Sept. 29 after claiming his debut effort one month earlier at Saratoga. The two victories earned the colt $168,000.

Withers Stakes winner Samraat will go for his fifth win in five starts on Saturday. Samraat will be ridden by Jose Ortiz from post 8 and will be coupled with Noble Cornerstone, who starts from post 4 with jockey Kent Desormeaux. The two 3-year-olds are both owned by My Meadowview Farms.

Samraat, trained by Richard Violette, opened his career at Belmont Park last October with a 3 1/2-length win followed by an allowance victory in November at Aqueduct. He posted a 16 3/4-length win in Aqueduct's Damon Runyon Stakes in December and came back on Feb. 1 by winning the $250,000 Withers.

The four wins have produced $283,200 in Samraat's bankroll.

Withers runner-up Uncle Sigh has drawn post 3 with Corey Nakatani getting the mount for the first time. The colt is trained by Gary Contessa for Wounded Warrior Stables.

Uncle Sigh was the defeated Withers favorite, dropping a length decision to Samraat. After finishing second in his career opener, he broke his maiden on Dec. 27 by 14 1/2 lengths. The colt, who will be making his fourth straight start at Aqueduct, has earned $101,000.

Here is the field for the Gotham in post position order: In Trouble, Joe Rocco Jr.; Financial Mogul, Shaun Bridgmohan; Uncle Sigh, Corey Nakatani; Noble Cornerstone, Kent Desormeaux; Monopolize, Chris DeCarlo; Deceived, Rajiv Maragh; Classic Giacnroll, Manuel Franco; Samraat, Joe Ortiz; Extrasexyhippzster, Julian Pimentel; Master Lightning, Cornelio Velazquez and Harpoon, Irad Ortiz Jr.

Post-time for the Gotham will be approximately 4:17 p.m. ET.

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