First Samurai still perfect, eyes Juvenile
First Samurai could be a champion in the making. Taking the lead from rival Henny Hughes in the stretch, First Samurai pulled off to a 2-length victory in Saturday’s $500,000 Champagne Stakes at rain-drenched Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The 2-year-old colt’s win improved his perfect mark to 4 for 4 and firmly established First Samurai as the favorite for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Belmont on Oct. 29. “He’s about as good as it gets for 2-year-olds,” winning trainer Frank Brothers said. Long shot wins Lane’s End: After losing standouts Roses in May and Kitten’s Joy to retirement earlier this year, trainer Dale Romans was searching for another star in his barn. He might have found one. Dawn of War, who went off at 36-1, led almost all the way and captured the Grade I Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Dawn of War fought jockey John Jacinto during the stretch run, never getting on the right lead. But the Kentucky-bred 2-year-old son of Catienus steadily pulled away and beat another long shot, Catcominatcha, by 3 lengths, running 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.77. Romans had hoped to have a prominent presence in the Breeders’ Cup. But Roses in May, last year’s second-place Classic finisher, was retired in August, while turf standout Kitten’s Joy was retired last month, both due to injury. Like those two horses, Dawn of War is owned by Ken Ramsey, who wasn’t at Keeneland on Saturday because of a family engagement. But Romans said he had no doubt Ramsey would enter Dawn of War in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. “Those horses are impossible to replace,” Romans said of Roses in May and Kitten’s Joy. “You’ve just got to find (another) that you can do good with.” Singletary triumphs: Singletary won the $249,000 Oak Tree Breeders’ Cup Mile by 1 lengths over Designed For Luck at Santa Anita. Singletary, who was ridden by David Flores, covered the mile on the turf in 1:34.54. The 5-year old will defend his title at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Singletary paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.60. Designed For Luck returned $6.80 and $3.80, while Buckland Manor paid $3 to show. In the $236,000 Ancient Title Breeders’ Cup Stakes, Captain Squire defeated Zanzibar by a half-length. Captain Squire, who was ridden by Alex Solis, covered the 6 furlongs in 1:08.85 and paid $6.20, $4 and $3.40. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Earlier, Adieu lived up to her billing as the top 2-year-old filly with a two-length victory over Along the Sea in the $500,000 Frizette and will likely be the favorite for the BC Juvenile Fillies on Breeders’ Cup day. In the Champagne, Too Much Bling and Henny Hughes got caught up in a speed duel, with First Samurai racing well back in the six-horse field. When the leaders turned for home, First Samurai, with a little urging from jockey Jerry Bailey, made his move on the outside and ran straight to the finish. “He struggled a bit with the track, but it didn’t surprise me,” Bailey said. “He is a big, heavy horse. He came home a little slow, but they went pretty fast in the earlier part.” In front of a small crowd of 4,201, First Samurai covered the mile in 1:36.29 over a sloppy track and the odds-on favorite returned $3.50 for a $2 win ticket.