SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Water Mill's favorite horse won't be racing again this year. Samraat, a 3-year-old bred at My Meadowview Farm, suffered a stress fracture in his right shin during a half-mile workout Saturday morning at Saratoga. Trainer Rick Violette said the injury is not career-threatening and is hopeful the Hamptons colt will run in 2015.
Violette said Monday that X-rays revealed the injury Sunday morning, six days before he planned to run Samraat here in the Jim Dandy Stakes, a 11/8-mile prep for the 11/4-mile Travers on Aug. 23.
"It didn't rear its head until the next day," Violette said. "I discovered he was a little uncomfortable, which was unusual for him, so we went into full diagnostic mode and found the injury. It could have been a lot worse. He's such a game horse, and if we hadn't spotted it and he had gone into the race, who knows what could have happened."
Samraat has earned $878,200 for owner-breeder Len Riggio. He began his career 5-for-5, including three stakes, before finishing second April 5 in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He ran a respectable fifth in the Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Belmont Stakes. Violette was upbeat that the son of Noble Causeway would return to form in the Jim Dandy.
"It's incredibly disappointing and a real gut punch," Violette said. "He'd been training spectacularly, even better than he was doing going into the Derby. But we caught the injury in its infancy stage and avoided something worse. The prognosis is very good, and we look forward to bringing him back as a 4-year-old."