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Samraat Takes Fifth Win in Grade III Gotham Stakes
One of the best things in racing is to see a three-horse battle through the stretch, exactly as it happened on Saturday at Aqueduct in the $500,000 Grade III Gotham Stakes. In the end it was NY-bred Samraat getting the win by a neck over Uncle Sigh and In Trouble, but the connections of all three horses have to be hoping for a rematch in the Kentucky Derby on May 3. With the win, Samraat picks up 50 points in the Derby Challenge series and has likely secured a spot in the starting gate.
Anyone's race through the stretch drive
It was the second meeting so far this season between Samraat and Uncle Sigh, after the two battled to the same 1-2 finish in the Withers Stakes a month ago. In this one, In Trouble set the early pace through moderate fractions, with Uncle Sigh alongside for most of the way, and Samraat laying just off the pace. Turning for home, Samraat moved three wide to challenge for the lead, and the trio fought on through the stretch. After a brief stewards’ inquiry to look at minor bumping in the lane, the result held, with Samraat the neck winner, and Uncle Sigh another neck in front of In Trouble.
Samraat remains unbeaten for his career
With the win, Samraat runs his record to a perfect 5-for-5, with his last four wins coming at Aqueduct after breaking his maiden first out at Belmont in October. What makes this win that much more impressive is the fact he was carrying high weight, and jockey Jose Ortiz never went to the whip in the stretch. Uncle Sigh, meanwhile, now has three place finishes to go with a maiden win. In Trouble, ran a strong race coming off a five-month layoff after winning the Grade II Belmont Futurity in September. All three horses are now pointed toward the Grade I Wood Memorial as a final Derby prep.
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