Good Samaritan made a triumphant return to the races in Saturday's $400,000 New Orleans H. (G2), rallying from far off the pace to score by 2 1/4-lengths.
Owned by WinStar Farm along with China Horse Club, SF Racing LLC and Head of Plains Partners, Good Samaritan picked up $240,000 and upped his lifetime earnings to $1,191,116. The 4-year-old won last year's Jim Dandy S. (G2) and Woodbine's Summer S. (G2) as a 2-year-old.
Away from the races since a close second in the Nov. 24 Clark H. (G1), Good Samaritan was unhurried away from the gate, with jockey Joel Rosario content to sit some 10 lengths off the lead of The Player, who went through the first half-mile in :48.18.
Midway around the final turn, The Player gave way after taking a bad step, leaving Scuba and Han Sense to battle for the lead. Good Samaritan, meanwhile, was closing rapidly, and, full of run in the stretch, went by the top pair and drew off in the final sixteenth.
"He's the kind of horse you want to let do whatever he wants to do," Rosario said. "He was happy where he was, and I was just hoping he didn't drop himself too far back. He loves to run. He likes to finish really well the last quarter of a mile."
"We'd like to win a Grade One on the dirt with him. He's a quality, beautiful horse, and he's run some high-quality races on dirt and turf," added WinStar's Elliott Walden. "Not to say we wouldn't try turf at some point down the road, either, because he's such a versatile horse.”
Bred by WinStar, Good Samaritan is out of the stakes-placed Pulpit mare Pull Dancer.