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US Gr1 Star First Samurai Retired To Claiborne

Thursday, 27th July 2006

In the US, 3YO multiple Gr1 winner First Samurai (Giant's Causeway-Freddie Frisson, by Dixieland Band) has been retired & arrived overnight at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky "where he will enter stud in 2007," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. First Samurai has not started since finishing 5th in the Gr1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 15; he was "discovered to have cracked ribs when he showed discomfort after a routine gallop at Churchill Downs about 2 weeks later". The Hancock family (which owns Claiborne) had previously purchased breeding rights to First Samurai from owners Bruce Lunsford & Lansdon Robbins in March. Lunsford confirmed: "We had planned to retire First Samurai at the end of the season, but as it became clear we did not have enough time to achieve our major objectives, we made the decision to stop on him now." Kentucky-bred First Samurai won the initial 4 races of his career (including the 2005 Gr1 Champagne Stakes & Gr1 Hopeful Stakes) before running 3rd in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile to complete his 2YO campaign with 4 wins from 5 starts. In his 3YO debut, he finished runner-up in the Gr2 Hutcheson Stakes & then won the Gr2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes. Overall he retires with 5 wins from 8 starts for US$915,075 earnings.

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