FIRST SAMURAI’s juvenile crop got off to a flying start on Thursday when Tea Olive made easy work of a Churchill Downs Maiden Special Weight.
Trained by Wesley Ward, the filly broke on top in the five furlong race and always had the race in hand under John Velazquez. She opened up over a length only strides after the break and had a confident Velazquez directing her around the track.
Tea Olive proved the sloppy going wasn’t an issue as she continued to bolt home down the stretch. Given a kind ride in the final furlong, her margin was cut down to 1 ½ lengths at the end but it was clear she had more to give if needed.
Owned by Hat Creek Racing and Cheyenne Stable, Tea Olive was bred by Meg Dumaine.
She is the first foal out of stakes-placed Conquest Superstep, who earned over $181,000 in her career and was a $150,000 purchase in 2017. Conquest Superstep is a full sister to Grade 2 winner Inside Straight and a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Dance Daily with her dam producing four stakes horses and 10 winners from 12 to race.
This is also the family of Argentina Horse of the Year Mirinaque and Grade 3 winner Hay Lets Dance.
The sire of 71% winners to starters and 11% stakes horses, FIRST SAMURAI continues to be a proven value sire and stands for $15,000 this year.