First Samurai Drills Bullet Five Furlongs

(from Belmont Park notes)
First Samurai, trainer Frank Brothers' undefeated winner of Saratoga's Hopeful (gr. I), worked five furlongs over Belmont Park's main track handily Saturday morning in :58 2/5. It was the fastest of 42 works at the distance.

First Samurai, a son of Giant's Causeway , is expected to start next in the $500,000 Champagne (gr. I) for 2-year-olds Oct. 8 at one mile on the Belmont main track. Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who has won the Champagne three times, has the mount.

"(Trainer) Bill Mott had two horses that broke off in front of him, and I broke off about five lengths behind them," Bailey said. "He didn't offer to lug into today, and he finished really well. The last time I worked him, he lugged in and he was lugging in during the Hopeful. The idea working him behind horses wasn't so much that he'd come from behind, I wanted to see if I could maneuver him around something. He did it fine."

First Samurai is expected to meet Saratoga Special (gr. II) winner Henny Hughes, Flanders Fields, Bro Lo, and Deputy Glitters in the Champagne. Dixiewink, Greater Fool, and Superfly are possible.