Isn't He Perfect
|2010||OBSAPR||324||2||$27,000||Dejai Ramnarayan||Harris Training Center|
Excelsior S. (gr. III)
EXCELSIOR S. (gr. III), Aqueduct, March 23, 2013, $150,000 Guaranteed, value of race $150,000, 3 yo's & up, 1 1/8 miles, 1:50.78 Inner track FT.
(Dark Bay or Brown Colt ,
First Samurai Saratoga Cat , by Sir Cat
BJohn D. Gunther , KY ; OJohn D. Gunther ; TChad C. Brown
(Chestnut Colt ,
Lawyer Ron Enchanted Woods , by Woodman
BZayat Stables, LLC , FL ; OZayat Stables, LLC ; TTodd A. Pletcher
Isn't He Perfect
(Bay Horse ,
Pleasantly Perfect Reciclada (CHI) , by Rictorious
BDiamond A Racing Corp. , KY ; OGuy American Racing Stables ; TEdward Lotruglio
Excelsior S. Recap
John Gunther’s homebred Last Gunfighter entered the starting gate of Aqueduct’s grade III Excelsior Stakes March 23 armed and ready. Ridden by Rajiv Maragh and trained by Chad Brown, the 4-year-old son of First Samurai had not been beaten in four consecutive races, stretching back to last year, including the Evening Attire Stakes at the Big A in January. At the end of the 11/8 miles in 1:50.78, his 2013 record remained intact as he strode to a two-length victory over favored Mordi’s Miracle and longshot Isn’t He Perfect.
Gunther bred Last Gunfighter (inbred 3x3 to Storm Cat) in Kentucky from Saratoga Cat, whom he purchased as a weanling for $50,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November mixed sale from the consignment of Pope McLean’s Crestwood Farm. From the first crop of the versatile Sir Cat, having won graded stakes on dirt and turf, and the winning Saratoga Six mare Saratoga Sparkle, she had much to recommend her purchase: four generations of stakes-producing mares. Saratoga Cat was already a half sister to stakes winners Sexy Boots and Saratoga Boot, both by the good Storm Cat stallion Storm Boot (sire of 63 stakes winners). Her second dam Sprinkle Dollars, a Buckpasser half sister to grade II stakes winner Diabolo (by Damascus), was the dam of grade II winner Costly Shoes (by Topsider) and one other stakes winner. Saratoga Cat’s third dam, Bill and I, had won 10 stakes on the Midwest circuit.
Although not a black-type winner herself, Saratoga Cat did compete well in stakes company, finishing fourth in two graded stakes, and won five races from 61/2 to nine furlongs. She earned $186,153 in four years of racing, well past her purchase price.
A son of Giant’s Causeway, First Samurai was among the leading 2-year-olds of 2005 with wins in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I) before finishing third to eventual juvenile champion Stevie Wonderboy in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). A Triple Crown contender at 3, he won the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) before injury sent him to the stallion ranks.
First Samurai has sired 14 added-money winners. On the Friday before the Excelsior, his daughter Kaminari won the Gold Coast Stakes at Delta Downs. He is also the sire of 2013 multiple graded winner Swift Warrior. First Samurai stands for $10,000 at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.—T.H.