Last year’s Withers Stakes champ Revolutionary captured the Louisiana Derby before a third place finish in the Kentucky Derby. 2012 didn’t see a Withers-placed runner make an impact on the Triple Crown, however, Alpha did win the Travers. This year’s Withers Stakes is included in the Kentucky Derby series with 10-4-2-1 points awarded to the first four finishers. Since there are only six horses in the Withers this year, most of the field will receive points.
Four of the six runners are coming off of victories. Two, Uncle Sigh and Samraat, had blow out wins in NY State Bred races. Samraat is the East Coast version of Shared Belief. He’s undefeated and has a combined 25 + lengths on former rivals. Let’s take a closer look at the field:
Uncle Sigh (Indian Charlie - Cradlesong, by Pine Bluff) loped around the Aqueduct track to win his maiden going a mile. His pedigree indicates that he’ll be strongest up to 1 1/8 miles. There’s some quality in his family, as he’s a half to stakes winners Slew by Slew and Percussion. Uncle Sigh owns the second highest late pace speed figure, but will be taking a huge class jump from state—bred maidens into graded stakes company in just his third start. The Contessa trainee has a brisk work pattern and should be on his toes here. Contender.
Street Gent (Street Sense - Gen Corp Purposes, by Beau Genius) is cutting back in distance after winning his maiden at 1 1/8 miles. He’s a half to multiple stakes winners Beau Dare, Turfiste and the stakes placed runner Victoire Bataille. Street Gent’s late pace figures are nothing to email about, although trainer Leah Gyarmati hits with 29% of graded stakes winners this year and overall 57%, so she knows where to spot them. Possible.
Scotland (Horse Greeley - Varus, by Vicar) has finished in the money in all three starts, but is still a maiden. Scotland lost ground in the Jerome and finished 4 ½ lengths behind the winner.. His pedigree indicates that he’ll likely be best up to 1 1/16 miles. His Brisnet speed figures have improved in each race and he has a solid breeze pattern. Pass
Classic Giacnroll (Giacomo - Classic Woman, by Storm Bird) went wide throughout the Jerome Stakes and finished second, beaten two lengths. He’s gone wide in his last four races and with the jock switch to Velasquez, may get a better trip. Classic Giacnroll has a classy distaff line. Clark hero Premium Tap and Arlington Million winner Tight Spot are descended from this family. Possible.
Samraat (Noble Causeway - Little Indian Girl, by Indian Charlie) has been unchallenged in three state bred races and now takes on graded stakes company. His race fractions aren’t particularly brilliant, so we’re left to wonder exactly what he’s beaten, considering none of the horses in his wake have come back to win. His speed figures have improved in every start and Samraat has been training well at Palm Meadows. He’s a half to the stakes placed runners Original Fate, Kaddish, and Screen Legend. Contender.
Honorable Judge (Afleet Alex - Lucky Again, by Wild Again) has won two of three starts and prefers to sit off the pace. He’s a full brother to Breeders' Cup Marathon hero Afleet Again and the stakes placed Oh So Bella, plus a half to stakes placed Luckifee. Honorable Judge late pace speed figure in his last race wasn’t bad and his works are average. He could come running at the end and get a piece of it. Contender.
Track bias: The track is fair to front runners, pace pressers and late pace runners. Horses from the outside posts appear to win more often than those inside. It will be cloudy, but the track should be fast.
This is a poor betting race and one could make a case for most of the contenders.
#5 Samraat (7-5)
#1 Uncle Sigh (9-5)
#6 Honorable Judge (15-1)