First Samurai Continues Working Toward Blue Grass
Updated: Tuesday, April 4, 2006 9:14 AM
Edited press release
Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2006 9:14 AM
Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's First Samurai, winner via disqualification of the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) in his most recent start, continued his preparation for Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) with a strong seven-furlong work Monday at Churchill Downs.
The son of Giant's Causeway
, winner of Saratoga's Hopeful (gr. I) and the Champagne (gr. I) at Belmont Park for trainer Frank Brothers as a 2-year-old, covered the distance over a "good" track in 1:25.20 under retired jockey Donna Barton Brothers. First Samurai's move was the only work of the day at the distance over a track that was soaked overnight by strong storms that moved through the Louisville area.
Churchill Downs clockers caught First Samurai in splits of :12.40, :24.40, :36.20, :48.20, 1:00.20 and 1:12.60. He galloped out a mile in 1:40.
"It's a little hard to judge over a 'wet-fast' racetrack, but I thought he worked all right," said Frank Brothers. "It'll be six weeks between his races, so he needed a pretty good work. He'll probably come back with a half or five-eights - probably five-eighths -next week. He's breezed right along, but I just thought he needed a little tightener."
Brothers continues to believe that First Samurai is moving forward in his effort to bid for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 6 - but he said the April 15 Toyota Blue Grass would be an important test for the colt.
"He's doing fine - he's just got to step up to the plate next time, that's all," Brothers said. "If he runs well there, then he buys his ticket."
First Samurai has a record of 5-1-1 in seven races and has earned $892,575.
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