It's easy to see (NY) or (CA) or (LA) next to a runner's name in the Past Performances and quickly dismiss them. After all, if it does not say (KY) or (IRE) or (GB) or (FR) it can't be top class, right? Well this year if that's your handicapping method then you'll quickly end up with a choice between Ramsey starters. Samraat may be bred in New York, but he comes from as high a quality female family as any other starter in the field.
Samraat, by Noble Causeway out of Little Indian Girl (Indian Charlie)
Noble Causeway is by champion sire Giant's Causeway. (how does GC not get more credit than he does? I think he's probably the best stallion at stud along with War Front and Tapit, but you hear so many others, too many others, mentioned as being in the same class; sorry, I digress). But Noble Causeway was not a brilliant runner on the track, in fact it can be argued that his biggest attribute is the fact that he was a million dollar yearling. He initially stood at Crestwood Farm in Lexington, but now stands at Sequel Stallions in New York. He, quite frankly, has been underwhelming as a stallion. The vast majority of his runners are in the lower level NY-bred ranks and Samraat is so much his best runner than it would be useless (and degrading to Samraat) to compare him to any others.
Stallion nonsense blah blah blah. Here's the meat of the pedigree. Samraat is from an absolute top class immediate female family that produces stakes horses like they're honeysuckle blossoms. His dam, the Indian Charlie mare Little Indian Girl, did little on the track, but that didn't stop her in the breeding shed. The dam of 4 stakes horses, including one in Japan, she's produced a top quality family in a short period of time. Unlike many other families whose pages changed dramatically for the better once their 2014 Derby horse hit the page, Samraat is one of many black-typers here. Included in Little Indian Girl's progeny are: Samraat; Screen Legend (by Tiznow; 3rd in the G3 Arlington-Washington); Kaddish (by Bernstein, 2nd in a listed stakes at Canterbury); and Original Fate (listed stakes placed in Japan; winner of almost 100 million yen). But the most impressive part is that all of the siblings seemed to want a route of ground and were at their best around two turns. Definitely a huge plus for the stamina of Samraat.
His second dam, the Seeking the Gold mare Brighter than Gold, produced the terrific Mr. Greeley filly Nonsuch Bay. She was a winner of the Grade 1 Mother Goose and was in the money of a plethora of other stakes. She was as good a stakes horse as any owner could ever hope for and while not a great producer herself, her foals sell like gangbusters.
As you dig a bit deeper into the family you find a ton of other producers. It seems to matter little what stallions are frequented, who the mares are by, or what company they keep, you just get runners. And while Little Indian Girl has returned to the meager Noble Causeway three consecutive years (to include 2012 and 2013 foals, lucky them) that seems to be more of a NY Breeders program decision than any other.
So don't be fooled, that (NY) doesn't mean anything anymore.