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The following post was published last week at Paulick Report.

Certainly the most dramatic race of the weekend was the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, where a trio of promising colts finished heads apart. The winner and still unbeaten in five starts was Samraat, a dead game and quite appealing competitor for Leonard Riggio’s My Meadowview Farm, which bred the colt in New York.

Samraat is also the best performer to date for My Meadowview Farm’s stallion Noble Causeway (by Giant’s Causeway). At the Keeneland September sale in 2003, My Meadowview Farm purchased the yearling colt later named Noble Causeway for $1.15 million from the consignment of Catherine Parke’s Valkyre Stud, agent.

On the racetrack, Noble Causeway was a talented horse who won three of 18 starts, placing in seven more races, and earned $360,010. The horse’s best form probably came in his sixth start, a second-place finish in the G1 Florida Derby behind High Fly.

That effort propelled Noble Causeway into the Kentucky Derby a month later, where he finished 14th, and the Preakness, where he was 6th. The colt came back to race competitively after those ambitious efforts, and he finished third in the G3 Ben Ali Handicap at Keeneland, as well as fourth in both the Suburban Handicap and the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Retired to stud in Kentucky but not a stakes winner, Noble Causeway was facing an uphill battle in the market for mares. He was clearly going to require a lot of promotion to attract attention and a lot of support in the form of good mares, if he was going to stand a chance to succeed as a stallion in that most difficult stallion pool.

Noble Causeway received both.

After retiring the horse to stand at the McLean family’s Crestwood Farm outside Lexington, My Meadowview launched a promotional campaign to attract breeders and to generate interest in the horse. It succeeded so well that Noble Causeway covered 227 mares in his first two seasons at stud.

Likewise, My Meadowview also purchased a wide selection of mostly promising young mares as mates for Noble Causeway, and one of those was Little Indian Girl, who became the dam of Samraat.

My Meadowview purchased the daughter of leading sire Indian Charlie at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $150,000 in foal to Malibu Moon. At the time of purchase, Little Indian Girl was a winning half-sister to G1 winner Nonsuch Bay (Mr. Greeley) and in foal to a promising young stallion whose appeal would rise each year.

If that seemed a robust price to pay for a mare to breed to a $5,000 stallion, there was even better news to come. Each of the mare’s three foals preceding her sale went on to earn black type.

Her first foal was the Grand Slam colt Original Fate, who was stakes-placed in Japan and earned $793,248; the second was Kaddish (Bernstein), a stakes-placed winner of $111,395; and the third was Screen Legend, a daughter of Tiznow who ran third in the G3 Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Samraat is the mare’s seventh foal and her first stakes winner.

Now unbeaten in five starts, Samraat is expected to race next in the G1 Wood Memorial. If the colt succeeds in that race, he will certainly be one of the strong fancies for the Kentucky Derby, and My Meadowview’s saga with Noble Causeway will have taken them full circle back to Churchill Downs and the pursuit of the most elusive triumph in sport.

Samraat is a member of Noble Causeway’s third crop of foals. The Gotham winner is the stallion’s fourth stakes winner to date and his first graded winner in the U.S.  Noble Causeway now stands at Sequel Stallions in New York for a private fee.

If one holds high hopes for Samraat, one also has to like the second and third in the race pretty well. Second-place Uncle Sigh is a son of Indian Charlie, the broodmare sire of Samraat, and the Gotham third is In Trouble. The latter is a son of Tiz Wonderful who sold for $120,000 last April at the OBS sale of 2-year-olds in training.

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