Fountain of Youth S. (gr. II)
(gr. II , 9f ,)
Giant's Causeway Freddie Frisson , by Dixieland Band
BJohn D. Gunther, KY.; ORobbins, III, Lansdon and Lunsford, Bruce; TFrank L. Brothers
Holy Bull Iridescence , by Mt. Livermore
BLiz Squyres, KY.; OWest Point Thoroughbreds; TKiaran P. McLaughlin
Pulpit Multiply , by Easy Goer
BHargus Sexton, KY.; OCentennial Farms; TJames A. Jerkens
Margins: neck, ½, 1. Others: My Golden Song 116($18,000) , Rehoboth 116($9,000) , Can't Beat It 116 , Jazil 116 , Hemingway's Key 116 , Itsallboutthechase 116 , Great Point 116 . Winning Jockey, Edgar S. Prado.
In Japanese tradition, Samurai were the elite of their society’s military class who lived by “Bushido”—an honor code demanding ethical behavior both in life and in battle. On March 4, stewards at Gulfstream Park held 3-year-old Corinthian to those strict standards after his length win in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II). Ruling Corinthian impeded First Samurai in the stretch, stewards dropped the Pulpit colt down to third and gave the 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway his first taste of victory since the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) of his 2005 campaign.
First Samurai, who races for Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III, was bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, owner of Glennwood Farm near Versailles. After First Samurai’s reserve went unmet on a $380,000 bid at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale, Lunsford approached Gunther in the barn area of the auction grounds and made a private transaction in the name of the partnership.
Gunther bred First Samurai from the stakes-winning Dixieland Band mare Freddie Frisson. Out of the unraced Fappiano mare Frisson, Freddie Frisson carried Gunther’s colors to victory in the 1998 Holiday Inaugural Stakes and 1999 Queen Stakes before joining his broodmare band.
Frisson also produced the Strawberry Road filly Sky Blue Pink, who captured the 1997 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) for trainer Tom Amoss and owner Rosalind Rosenthal, wife of her breeder, Morton Rosenthal.
Seth Hancock, as agent for Stuart Janney III, purchased Sky Blue Pink for $800,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November mixed sale while carrying her first foal, the winning Silver Deputy filly Air Marshall, who ran third for Janney in the 2004 Queen Stakes at Turfway Park.
Air Marshall was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, to the 2006 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale and sold to Eurowest for $285,000.
Thirteen-year-old Freddie Frisson has a 2-year-old Menifee colt, Blackfoot Trail, whom Gunther pulled out of Keeneland’s 2005 September yearling sale, and an unnamed yearling filly by Cherokee Run.
The mare slipped a Forestry foal last year and is booked to Giant’s Causeway.
First Samurai is the first stakes winner this season and 13th overall for Giant’s Causeway, 2005’s leading second-crop and juvenile sire. A 9-year-old son of Storm Cat, Giant’s Causeway is also represented in 2006 by Harriett Lane, winner of the La Habra Stakes at Santa Anita the day after the Fountain of Youth. Giant’s Causeway stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. His 2006 fee is $300,000.—P.V.S.