Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopeful First Samurai blistered the Gulfstream Park main track Sunday morning, working seven furlongs in 1:23 2/5 for his imminent 3-year-old debut.Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's chestnut colt by Giant's Causeway is trained by Frank Brothers. His wife, Donna Barton Brothers, was in the saddle for Sunday's workout as the colt gets close to a probable start in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at seven furlongs on Feb. 4.The work was easily the fastest of three at the distance recorded by Gulfstream clockers.
A finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation's leading juvenile, First Samurai won his first four starts of 2005, including the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga and the Champagne Stakes (Gr. I) at Belmont Park. He suffered his lone defeat when third as the favorite behind Stevie Wonderboy in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont on Oct. 29.Jerry Bailey rode First Samurai in his final four starts last year. But with the Hall of Fame jockey's retirement announced this week, Brothers has given the call for the Hutcheson to Edgar Prado, who is expected to be aboard when the colt has a final workout before the Hutcheson next weekend.