First Samurai Continues Working Toward Blue Grass

Edited press release
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.