Sharp Samurai secured his fourth stakes victory in a row by taking the Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita. The First Samurai gelding dominated his foes in the race as he pulled away to win by 2 ¾ lengths.
Sent off as the race favorite, Sharp Samurai completed his task over a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:45.36. He has now won six of eight starts this season for trainer Mark Glatt.
“If he stays good and continues to improve, I think Mark will have the option to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Mile or the Breeders’ Cup Turf next year,” said winning jockey Gary Stevens. “If this was six weeks away from the Breeders’ Cup, I would be shouting to go in the Breeders’ Cup Turf because you have to be so lucky in the Mile. I haven’t ridden too many that are this versatile.”
Glatt co-owns Sharp Samurai in partnership with Red Baron’s Barn LLC and Rancho Temescal LLC. Other stakes victories to the gelding’s credit this year include the Del Mar Derby (G2), La Jolla Handicap (G3), and Rainbow Stakes.
“I think he’s learned as he’s gotten older, and he’s getting better each time he races,” said Glatt. “Gary keeps telling me that he just keeps getting better with each race as well.”
Glatt purchased Sharp Samurai for $85,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale, and the multiple graded stakes winner has gone on to earn $465,870 to date.
First Samurai is the sire of G1 winners Lea, Justin Phillip, and Executiveprivilege as well as Sovereign Award champion Stacked Deck. In 2017, he has been represented by additional graded stakes winner Miss Sky Warrior. First Samurai stands for $15,000 at Claiborne.