Samraat and Richard Violette, Jr.

violetteandsamraat

A ray of sunshine brought into my life here in snowy Kentucky, courtesy of an east coast based trainer on the Derby trail!

I’ve been sleeping through the Derby prep season apparently as this dynamic duo escaped my attention until this weekend. Even after winning the Gotham Stakes at AQU to run his undefeated record to 5, Samraat had just been another name to me, yet another Triple Crown hopeful soon to disappoint. Similarly, although trainer Violette was a name known to me, I had never dug much deeper, until now.

Although a New York bred, Samraat resides in FL at the Palm Meadows Training Center, where the colt has worked a mile THREE TIMES in the past 6 weeks:

Track

Date

Course

Distance

Time

 

 

Palm Meadows Training Center

2/22/2014

Dirt

1M

1:45.00

Palm Meadows Training Center

2/15/2014

Dirt

4F

49.30

Palm Meadows Training Center

1/24/2014

Dirt

1M

1:46.60

Palm Meadows Training Center

1/17/2014

Dirt

1M

1:41.85

Palm Meadows Training Center

1/9/2014

Dirt

4F

48.00

With Mr. Violette only making a few hundred starts per year, one would expect him to be ultra cautious with a Derby prospect. I look at things differently; if he had been ultra cautious with this colt, he wouldn’t have a Derby prospect on his hands. Also running in the Gotham entry was Financial Mogul, who has the following worktab:

Track                                       Date                Course             Distance   Time
Fair Hill                                   2/22/2014        All Weather     5F        1:00.60
Fair Hill                                   2/15/2014        All Weather     1M       1:42.00
Fair Hill                                   2/7/2014          All Weather     5F        1:00.00
Palm Meadows Training Center           1/17/2014        Dirt                  1M       1:43.00
Palm Meadows Training Center           1/12/2014        Dirt                  5F        1:00.75
Palm Meadows Training Center           1/8/2014          Dirt                  6F        1:19.80
Palm Meadows Training Center           1/2/2014          Dirt                  4F        48.20

Good heavens, another mile worker, even at Fair Hill. I also see he has a nice filly named Effie Trinket who has yet to make her 2014 debut, does he take it easy on the fairer sex?

Track

Date

Course

Distance

Time

 

 

Palm Meadows Training Center

3/2/2014

Dirt

6F

1:15.00

Palm Meadows Training Center

2/24/2014

Dirt

6F

1:16.90

Palm Meadows Training Center

2/16/2014

Dirt

5F

1:03.90

 

Palm Meadows Training Center

2/9/2014

Dirt

4F

48.00

Palm Meadows Training Center

2/4/2014

Dirt

4F

51.00

Palm Meadows Training Center

1/29/2014

Dirt

3F

36.20

Palm Meadows Training Center

1/25/2014

Dirt

3F

38.45

Nope. Please note the 4-5 day frequencies of these shorter works, even as she is just getting back to the worktab. 3F slowly, back a few days later and a few ticks faster. Same at 4F. And again at 6F. I’d watch out for this one.

Are there any other East coast based trainers of big time horses working this far, other than Violette and Gyarmati? If so, please give me a heads up. Also, does anyone know how to research past workout schedules for Violette entries in years’ past? Is this his standard operating procedure, or a new norm?

In the years past I’ve posted my negative thoughts towards many fan favorites such as Zenyatta, Uncle Mo, Animal Kingdom, etc. hoping for them to lose races. I’ve also had a few that I was unabashedly in favor of, like Comma to the Top, who performed dismally in the Derby. It certainly feels better to be on the side of a well-deserved favorite, at least on my scale.

What happens next will be interesting. Will he back off Samraat in the weeks leading to the Wood Memorial? Early quotes indicate Samraat came out of the race well, albeit tired. Also, Violette mentioned he was vanning back to Palm Meadows with a different mindset; moreso to graze than train. Doug O’Neill mentioned a few times during his trek with I’ll Have Another that he eased off his 2 prior Derby starters as the big day approached, and later regretted it as they came up way short.

I hope not, and I hope that Richard Violette, Jr. and Samraat win the Triple Crown and bring back old-fashioned work schedules to this game.

EDIT: I’m told by someone in the know that a few years back Violette was not working slow miles in any of his stock, for what it’s worth.

P.S. Extra credit for anyone who can tell me where the image leading this post came from.
Hint: some cover versions of a long ago published book. (You are on the honor system; no Google Image Search!)

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About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on March 3, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. 50+ workers on the tab at Palm Meadows the other morning, none going further than 5F.

  2. Atlas Shrugged? Cover of book jacket , love you insights and links thanks so much for sharing, I look forward to your emails.

  3. California Chrome just won the San Felipe stakes 6 days off a good 5F. Works about once a week. Not as impressive as the mile works above but will be interesting to see how the trainer prepares this derby prospect going forward (and his results from it).

    • I had high hopes for that humbly-bred colt, especially knowing his trainer was 70+ years old. But the works seem conservative and he was recently quoted saying: ‘I just don’t want to do too much with him.’ Often, that is the kiss of death.

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