Samraat wins Gotham Stakes to remain undefeated

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The New York-bred Samraat remained undefeated after winning Saturday’s $500,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, NY. Even though he carried the high weight of 123 pounds, the Rick Violette runner proved that he was much the best as the favorite in the field of nine. The win earned him 50 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points system which, combined with the 10 he picked up for his win in the Withers Stakes (G3) Feb. 1, puts Samraat atop the leaderboard with 60 points.

Unlike his previous four wins, Samraat was not able to get the lead early, but was content to sit third while Uncle Sigh and In Trouble battled it out on the front-end. The rest of the field plotted along behind for much of the 1 1/16 mile race. At the top of the stretch, going three-wide on the outside, Samraat moved in on the leaders. The trio battled on into the stretch with In Trouble on the rail and Uncle Sigh never easing up while getting squeezed in the middle. As the three hit the wire, they were beautifully placed necks apart with Samraat on top, Uncle Sigh second, and In Trouble third. Financial Mogul was 5 ¼ lengths back in fourth, a neck in front of Harpoon.

The tight finish of the top three and possible brushing between them drew a Steward’s inquiry just after the finish, but after a brief review, the order was unchanged.