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Apr 14, 2006

Blue Grass Stakes draws field of nine

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - First Samurai, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes, is the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. The 1 1/8 mile race has drawn a field of nine Kentucky Derby contenders.

First Samurai was declared the winner of the Fountain of Youth when Corinthian was disqualified from first.

The colt will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano for the first time and break from post five. The chestnut colt has won five of seven career starts and $892,575 for owners Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III. Veteran trainer Frank Brothers conditions the three-year-old.

Bluegrass Cat is the 5-2 second pick for the Blue Grass Stakes. He will be ridden by jockey John Velazquez and break from post two. The bay colt was the runner-up to Deputy Glitters in the Tampa Bay Derby as the 2-5 favorite. It was a reversal of the Sam F. Davis Stakes back in February at Tampa Bay Downs. Bluegrass Cat had won his previous four starts, three as the favorite. He has earned $323,780.

Owned by WinStar Farm, Bluegrass Cat is trained by Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher.

Finally making his first start in a stakes race is the much talked about Strong Contender. Considered a rising star in the three-year-old ranks since early in the year, Strong Contender has won both of his starts for $36,000.

Because of his lack of earnings, the chestnut colt was shut out of the Lane's End Stakes last month. Strong Contender is owned by John Oxley and trained by John Ward Jr., the pair who won the 2001 Kentucky Derby with Monarchos.

For the Blue Grass Stakes he is 4-1 in the morning line with jockey Edgar Prado and will start from post four.

Completing the field for the Blue Grass Stakes in post position order are Little Cliff, Storm Treasure, Court Folly, Sinister Minister, Sadler's Trick and Seaside Retreat.

The last winner of the Blue Grass Stakes to capture the Kentucky Derby was Strike the Gold in 1991.



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