“We have big mares and sires. So this little guy — not that we’re cavalier — but he was tiny and spindly. I said he walked like Charlie Chaplin. And friendly and smart – the leader of the pack with the other foals.”
(Louise Riggio, wife of Leonard Riggio, owners of SAMRAAT)
Affectionately called “Sammy,” Samraat is the little horse who is living his dream. I am no expert. I’m just a Horse Racing fan. I have been known to see things in horses that have a gift, not seen in lineage, fractions, or programs. This horse is something special and is overlooked by experts, who have yet to become believers in Sammy. He reminds me of a combination between Seabiscuit and Secretariat.
As I write this, Sammy (7-2 morning line) is about to race in the one million dollar Wood Memorial today. Unbeaten in his five starts, he is about to face foes, one that lost two nose defeats to him, named Uncle Sigh, and Social Inclusion, unbeaten in two starts, has the speed figures and is the Wood’s race favorite. Social Inclusion is on a mission and must win, place or show to get a post in the Kentucky Derby.
The winner of this race will more than likely be the odds on favorite in the Derby.
Sammy does not have the “egg-beater gait” Seabiscuit had, but CHAPLINESQUE is the perfect description. When I have watched him run, I can almost see the black derby on his head and a cane being twirled as he kicks into a speed gear that separates him from other horses. It happens so fast it reminds me of the quick draw of a gunslinger. The horse puts its head in front and you never saw the burst of speed. It all comes natural for a true champion
Sammy will need a press agent and that should be me.
There are times with this horse’s personality that he mugs for the camera that are almost Oscar worthy. Sammy knows his destiny, is a horse that does not look like a leader, just like the Biscuit. Of course not as frumpy as the Biscuit,.
Seabiscuit made the magnificent, large majesty of War Admiral (Triple Crown Winner) a rear admiral when they faced each other in that famous match race at Pimlico. In his time Seabiscuit was the horse of the common-man down and out by the depression. Us common-men can relate to a little horse with a Chaplinesque, or an egg-beater gate, even relate to a horse after suffering defeats that Sammy has yet to experience, and today at the Wood may be his first. But I got my fingers and toes crossed for him today. Not sure yet how the story of Sammy will go.
Sammy just may become the horse who could, “Wood,” and move on to win the Kentucky Derby.
Then all eyes will be on Pimlico where the speed horse with incredible fractions and times, Social Inclusion will have an advantage on that tight turn, fast track.
Sammy has a sparkle in his eyes in the barn area and radiating down the backstretch. I last saw that in Secretariat before the Belmont. No matter what he does in the Wood Memorial, Sammy is on the way to greatness.