First Samurai Swings Sword Toward Hopeful

First Samurai, an impressive 2-year-old allowance winner Aug. 7, breezed four furlongs in :47 2/5 over the main track Friday morning with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey aboard. The son of Giant's Causeway  will make his next start in the Hopeful (gr. I), going seven furlongs on the Travers (gr. I) undercard Aug. 27.

The even-money favorite in an entry-level heat earlier this month, First Samurai vied for the lead and drew off to an impressive six-length score under Bailey.

Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins, the owners of First Samurai, watched Friday's workout.

"The first time he ran, he had a horse right next to him and he was toying with him," said Robbins, who also owns Saratoga Breeders' Cup (gr. II) favorite Offlee Wild. "Pat Day was riding him that day and he didn't even ask him. He did the same thing in his race here and he had a lung infection, too."

Lunsford is impressed by what he has seen so far, but is looking forward to next year.

"We bought him to be a 3-year-old, we didn't buy him to be a 2-year-old," Lunsford said. "He's just turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It looks like he should get better going longer."

Trainer Frank Brothers picked out First Samurai at a Keeneland sale last fall.