Grade I Winner First Samurai to Claiborne Upon Retirement
Date Posted: 3/30/2006 5:33:22 PM
Last Updated: 4/2/2006 2:55:41 PM

Fountain of Youth winner First Samurai will stand at Claiborne Farm.
Photo: Equi-Photo
Grade I winner First Samurai will stand at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., following his retirement from racing. Claiborne bought an interest in the 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway   for breeding purposes.

Owned by Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III, First Samurai ranks fourth on Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen in The Blood-Horse.

As a 2-year-old, First Samurai dominated the division for part of the year, winning the Champagne (gr. I) and Hopeful (gr. I) Stakes. He closed out the year with a third-place finish in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and was runner-up in Eclipse Award balloting.

A Storm Cat grandson, First Samurai started his 3-year-old season with a runner-up effort in the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II), then won the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). He is scheduled to run next in the April 15 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.

"First Samurai will be the first Storm Cat-line stallion to stand at the farm," said Seth Hancock, farm president. "He was a brilliant 2-year-old and is an outstanding individual."

Bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther, First Samurai was bought back for $380,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale and bought privately by Lunsford from Gunther after the sale. First Samurai, who is out of the stakes-winning Dixieland Band mare Freddie Frisson, has won five of seven races and earned $892,575 for trainer Frank Brothers.

"Lansdon and I realized how special this horse is and wanted him to have a good home," Lunsford said. "We also wanted to put this process behind us before entering the fray of the classic season."

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