Dan Heary is Back in the Saddle at Gotham

March 7, 2014

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goth1 1505638_678925285479881_1167322332_n At Aqueduct in NYC all eyes are on the first Saturday in March.  Why ?.  The Grade 3–$500,000 Gotham Stakes race for three year olds.  This is a huge Kentucky Derby prep race [first Saturday in May].
     Twenty [20] horses start the “Run For The Roses”, but NOT by earnings, by a new point system instituted a few years back.  The reason is great, horses would run in low level Graded races worth lots of money,IE: $1,000,000 Sunland Derby [G3] and the winner gets $600,000 [60%] while running against mediocrity.
     Now it is points and there are over 400 horses nominated for the Derby [this is done as a two year old]. Well ten of those horses ran March 1st in the Apple at a mile and a sixteenth on a cold and windy afternoon.  The value is 50 points to the winner and 25 for second and so on.
     By far the best Gotham ever came to me through my lens.  Undefeated “Samraat” remained that way [5-5] by a nose over “Uncle Sigh” who beat “In Trouble” by a nose.  ”Samraat” overcame a slight bump and the trio ran 1-2-3 in reverse order for the final mile by no more than a length.
  2   ”Samraat” closed in the final furlong to win in 1:44.44, a mediocre time but the “inner track” at Aqueduct is unfriendly and always varies from day to day.  BUT the race was awesome, a bump, three horses noses apart, an inquiry from “Sigh” on “Samraat” for contact near the finish but the 2-1 shot stayed on top and earned $300,000 and 50 points.
     Next up ?.  April 5th [Saturday] The Wood Memorial at the big “A” worth 100 points, oh yeah it is a $1,000,000 race.  I assume you will see a rematch of this trio, or maybe “In Trouble” will head South to Gulfstream for The Florida Derby-another prep race.  It will be a great day of racing on that Saturday with a strong field as always.
Dan: From the finish line
FYI-The timer in horse racing starts 40 yards
          after the gate opens, NOT when the gate open