Belmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Wood Memorial runner-up Samraat and fifth- place horse Uncle Sigh both had workouts Friday morning at Belmont Park.
Trained by Rick Violette, Samraat worked a half-mile in 49.12 seconds on the main track under exercise rider Simon Paine ahead of the Kentucky Derby on May 3.
"It was perfect," Violette said, "if we did it again, I don't know that we'd want to change anything. It was in hand, he stretched his legs, changed leads and pulled up good; he's acting like he just went out for a little jog. A week away, we'll go our steady mile - next Friday or Saturday - and go from there. It's pretty cool."
Samraat, owned by My Meadowview Farm, will be ridden by Jose Ortiz in the $2 million Run for the Roses as he has been his entire six race career. The colt has earned $773,200 with Ortiz in the saddle including wins this year in the Withers and Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.
Ortiz' older brother Irad will be aboard Uncle Sigh in the Kentucky Derby. Uncle Sigh worked three furlongs in 36.81 seconds with exercise rider and former jockey Nick Santagata riding and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.02 and seven furlongs in 1:26.72.
"We put him (behind a horse) and we came through the rail in case you got to come through a little hole in the Derby," said Santagata. "Hopefully, we'll get lucky on Derby Day. Hopefully, we'll get a better break than we did in the Wood Memorial and we can place him better. I think the blinkers will do that. I think the blinkers will make him a little better out of the gate and be in a little bit better position."
Trained by Gary Contessa for Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony C. Robertson, Uncle Sigh finished second to Samraat in the Withers and Gotham before his fifth in the Wood. The colt has banked $231,000 with one win and three seconds in five starts.