Unbeaten Samraat Breezes for Wood Memorial
Unbeaten Samraat breezed at Palm Meadows training center March 22 as he continues his preparations for the Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The son of Noble Causeway covered one mile in 1:45.15. He was the only horse to work at the distance.
"It was just what we wanted," trainer Rick Violette said as he looks ahead to the 1 1/8-mile Wood April 5. "He'll have his next breeze on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and then there's a plane to New York on Tuesday."
Samraat, who is unbeaten in five starts, went a mile in his penultimate breezes prior to his wins in Aqueduct's Withers Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 1 and Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 1. He followed both one-mile moves with four-furlong workouts.
"It works for him, and there's been no reason to change," said Violette.
A homebred owned by Leonard Riggio's My Meadowview Farm, Samraat defeated Uncle Sigh in his past two starts, beating his fellow New York-bred rival by one length in the Withers and by a neck in the Gotham.
Uncle Sigh is scheduled to breeze March 25 as he prepares for the Wood Memorial, according to Gary Contessa's assistant trainer, Marcelo Arenas.
The son of Indian Charlie, campaigned by Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson, is seeking a first stakes victory.
Tonalist, second in an entry-level optional claimer Feb. 22 at Gulfstream Park, remains under consideration for the Wood Memorial, trainer Christophe Clement said March 23.
"(The Wood is) one of the options," Clement said. "We're keeping him eligible. He's a very nice horse, and he's never run a bad race."
Clement said Tonalist will breeze March 26 or March 27 at Payson Park before he and owner Robert Evans make their final decision on the next start for the son of Tapit . Clement said the other options include the Calder Derby (gr. III), also April 5, or an allowance race.
Tonalist was second, 3 1/4 lengths behind gate-to-wire winner Constitution, in the Feb. 22 race. In his two other starts, Tonalist was fourth in his career debut in November at Aqueduct before he broke his maiden by four lengths in January at Gulfstream.
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