First Samurai, Barbaro Make Seasonal Debuts Saturday

First Samurai, Barbaro Make Seasonal Debuts Saturday
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
The first 2006 appearance of leading 3-year-old Florida Derby (gr. I) threat First Samurai in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) and seasonal debut of the promising 3-year-old Barbaro in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) are among the highlights on a stakes-filled card at Gulfstream Park Saturday..

Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's First Samurai should be odds-on to win his season debut with new jockey Edgar Prado getting the call. The Hutcheson drew a field of eight for the 7½-furlong test.

Trained by Frank Brothers, the two-time grade I winner First Samurai's most dangerous rivals may be Starlight Stable and Paul Saylor's Keyed Entry, winner of both of his starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, and Ralph Sessa's Blazing Rate, three for four for trainer Richard Root.

Keyed Entry won his career debut last summer at Monmouth Park and didn't start again until winning an allowance race Jan. 7. The son of Honour and Glory put on a show in that six-furlong allowance test, drawing off to score by 5 ½ lengths in an excellent time of 1:09 2/5 over the fast track.

$150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:20 p.m.), 3-year-olds, 7 1/2 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. City Attraction (KY), 118, Cornelio Velasquez
2. Keyed Entry (KY), 116, John Velazquez
3. Catcominatcha (KY), 120, Javier Castellano
4. Express News (KY), 118, Ramon Dominguez
5. Almost Certain (KY), 120, Chantal Sutherland
6. Blazing Rate (FL), 122, Cecilio Penalba
7. First Samurai (KY), 122, Edgar Prado
8. Fabled (KY), 118, Rafael Bejarano

Lael Stable's Kentucky homebred Barbaro gets his first major test in Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) after winning all three of his starts by clear margins, all on the turf. This will be his first start on the main track, as he bids to get on the Triple Crown trail.

Jockey Edgar Prado gets a return call for trainer Michael Matz on Barbaro in the 1 1/8-mile test after the son of Dynaformer won the Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) at Calder on New Year's Day by 3 ¾ lengths.

An overflow field of 14 3-year-olds was entered for the Holy Bull, but only 12 will start. Mike McCarty's Doctor Decherd, Shaun Bridgmohan up, and Marie and Aaron Jones' Sunriver, with Rafael Bejarano listed to ride, are likely to get solid support.

Doctor Decherd is a Louis Quatorze colt trained by Steve Asmussen and was a nose winner of the one-mile Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream Jan. 7. Sunriver is a full brother to two-time Eclipse champion filly Ashado. The son of Saint Ballado, like Ashado trained by Todd Pletcher, finished a good second in a nine-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Jan. 15.

$150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 4:50 p.m.), 3-year-olds 1 1/8 miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Big Lover (FL), 116, Roberto Alvarado, Jr.
2. Doctor Decherd (KY), 120, Shaun Bridgmohan
3. Sunriver (KY), 118, Rafael Bejarano
4. Hemingway's Key (FL), 116, Javier Castellano
5. Barbaro (KY), 122, Edgar S. Prado
6. Fagan's Legacy (KY), 120, Eddie Castro
7. Saint Augustus (KY), 120, Christopher DeCarlo
8. Flashy Bull (KY), 118, Cornelio Velasquez
9. My Golden Song (KY), 116, John Velazquez
10. Itsallboutthechase (KY), 118, Mark Guidry
11. Rehoboth (FL), 116, Brice Blanc
12. Park Avenue Prince (VA), 118, Ramon A. Dominguez
AE Great Point (KY) 3 Colt 116 Jeremy Rose
AE Barcola (KY) 3 Colt 116 Robert Landry

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