Corey Nakatani, seen here in 2013, rode Uncle Sigh to a second-place finish in the Gotham Stakes Saturday at New York's Aqueduct racetrack. Samraat got the win and earned 50 Kentucky Derby points. Credit: Getty
Samraat earned 50 points toward the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, as he gutted out a win over a stubborn Uncle Sigh and In Trouble in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.
In Trouble broke fastest and went to the lead. He was pursued by Uncle Sigh and Samraat, who was three-wide throughout while racing just two lengths off the lead. The pace was not as fast as most expected; In Trouble negotiated the first half-mile in 48.3 seconds.
As they went into the final turn, Samraat was given a push by his rider Jose Ortiz, and drew alongside In Trouble and Uncle Sigh. By the time the trio came off the turn they were four lengths clear of the rest of the field.
In Trouble eventually relinquished the lead with one furlong to go, and Samraat took over. Uncle Sigh, with Corey Nakatani aboard, fought valiantly while in between horses, but just like in the Withers Stakes last month, Samraat got the better of him.
Samraat crossed the wire in front of Uncle Sigh by a neck, with In Trouble finishing just a half-length behind Samraat. The time for the 1 and 1/16 mile race was 1:44.44.
According to Trakus, a company that provides information on ground loss during races, Samraat covered 30 feet more than Uncle Sigh, or the equivalent of 3.5 lengths, making the victory all the more impressive.
Samraat’s next start will most likely be in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, which will be run on April 5.