Updated on 09/17/2011 10:19PM

BC Juvenile: One more meeting before main event

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First Samurai (right) defeats Henny Hughes by 4 1/4 lengths in the Hopeful on Aug. 27.

It looks as if top East Coast 2-year-olds First Samurai and Henny Hughes could meet one more time before the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The connections of both horses said Wednesday that they are targeting the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 8 for their next start.

First Samurai defeated Henny Hughes by 4 1/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Hopeful on Aug. 27 to remain undefeated in three starts. First Samurai, a son of Giant's Causeway, has returned to trainer Frank Brothers's Churchill Downs barn, where he will train up to his next start. Brothers said he is leaning toward running in the Champagne, a one-turn mile race, but is also keeping as an option the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 8. The Lane's End is run at 1 1/16 miles around two turns.

First Samurai raced a bit greenly in his allowance win at Saratoga, but seemed much more professional in the Hopeful. Still, Brothers said First Samurai needs to improve to have success in the fall.

"He's got to learn how to run straight," said Brothers. "He can't win those races messing around. He's just a young 2-year-old. He's going to have to get better to do better down the line."

First Samurai was scheduled to breeze Thursday at Churchill Downs.

Henny Hughes had won his first three starts by a combined 24 3/4 lengths, including a score in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. Trainer Patrick Biancone offered no excuse for his loss in the Hopeful.

"On the day he was beaten by a better horse," Biancone said. "We will take our revenge next time. That's the way it is in racing. The horse came back sound. I'm sure we'd prefer to win than be beaten, but he didn't run badly. The horse who beat him could be an exceptional horse, you never know."

Biancone will go to his reserves this weekend in juvenile stakes in Kentucky and Chicago. Grand Survival, a maiden winner at Saratoga on Aug. 6, will run in Sunday's Grade 3, $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity. Stream Cat, a maiden winner on turf, will return to the dirt in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile.

Grand Survival ran spotty but well when splitting horses to win his debut at Saratoga going 6 1/2 furlongs. A $1 million son of Grand Slam, Grand Survival was scratched from a late August allowance race because of a cough, but has breezed twice since then and should be ready to go. Biancone said he chose the Arlington race over the Belmont Futurity because he prefers the mile distance of the Arlington race to the seven furlongs of the Belmont Futurity.

"I don't want to run him short any more," he said. "It's not exactly going to be his deal."

Among the other horses being mentioned for the Arlington-Futurity, Charley Tango and Sorcerer's Stone are the most interesting. Both horses are 2 for 2. Charley Tango's wins both came at Arlington, and Sorcerer's Stone beat next-out winners Private Vow and Captain Troy in his debut at Churchill. Sorcerer's Stone is trained by Patrick Byrne, who won the 1997 Juvenile with Favorite Trick.

Out West, trainer Doug O'Neill appears loaded with Del Mar Futurity winner Stevie Wonderboy and the speedy California-bred Bro Lo. O'Neill hopes to get both to the Juvenile. Stevie Wonderboy will prep in the Norfolk on Oct. 2, and Bro Lo will ship east for the Champagne.

O'Neill said he is hopeful that Bro Lo can carry his speed a distance of ground. "It's something we're all waiting to see," he said. "I love the fact it's a one-turn mile. It's a smoother transition. He's extremely quick."

A small field is shaping up for Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Futurity at Belmont. Private Vow, a winner of two starts at Saratoga for Steve Asmussen, could be favored. Asmussen may also start He's Got Grit, undefeated in three starts including a victory in the Sapling at Monmouth Park.

Master of Disaster, who finished second behind Henny Hughes in the Saratoga Special, is expected to run. He had a minor foot injury coming out of the Special, but earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure when winning his debut by 13 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park in May.

In Summation is a Calder sensation, having gone 5 for 5 over that south Florida track. Trainer Frank Gomez is pointing In Summation to the In Reality Stakes for progeny of Florida-based sires Oct. 15. Gomez did not rule out wheeling him back in the Juvenile.

Juvenile
Contenders
2-year-old colts & geldings, 1 1/16 miles. Purse: $1.5 million.

RANKHORSETRAINERODDS
1First SamuraiF. Brothers3-1
Dominated Hopeful despite racing greenly; figures to only improve
2Henny HughesP. Biancone4-1
Second best in Hopeful at 3-5, but is capable of a stronger effort
3Bro LoD. O'Neill6-1
Speedball romped in first two at Dmr; gets distance test in Champagne
4Stevie WonderboyD. O'Neill9-2
Most impressive visually winning Dmr Futurity, but his time wasn't fast
5Flanders FieldsD. Stewart8-1
A.P. Indy-Flanders colt devoured one mile in eye-catching maiden win
6Dr. PleasureJ. Ward Jr.8-1
Beautiful Pleasure's son by Thunder Gulch impressed in debut at Sar
7BashertW. Currin12-1
Acted up badly before Dmr Futurity, so ignore it; ran big in prior three
8In SummationF. Gomez15-1
Kingpin at Calder, where he is five for five, including four stakes scores
9Private VowS. Asmussen15-1
Scored decisively in both of his starts at Saratoga; stakes are next up
10He's Got GritS. Asmussen20-1
Sapling, Tyro winner could have been claimed for 80K in first start

The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.