01/14/2006 12:00AM

First Samurai gets in solid work


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - First Samurai moved one step closer to his 3-year-old debut after working six furlongs in 1:14.18 at Gulfstream on Saturday.

With Donna Brothers, wife of trainer Frank Brothers, aboard, First Samurai broke off in company with stablemate Obi Wan Kenobi at the six-furlong pole and began his work into a stiff wind down the backstretch. The pair went in fractions of 24.92 seconds, 37:48, 49.95, and 1:02.14 before First Samurai gradually pulled away from his mate while covering the final furlong in 12.04.

"I thought he worked well," Frank Brothers said as First Samurai cooled out back at the barn. "This was his first three-quarters, and it was just what I was looking for. A little slower than faster but that's fine. He's got to learn to settle a little this year."

First Samurai has not started since suffering his only setback at 2, when he finished a troubled third behind Stevie Wonderboy in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. His first goal here is the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes on Feb. 4.

"I'll probably come back and work him three-quarters or seven-eighths from the gate," said Brothers. "Although I could change up and work him seven furlongs from the pole and then come back with a five-eighths from the gate, then run him. Either way, he'll have two more stiff breezes, and if all's well we'll go in the Hutcheson. If not, we'll just wait."

Brothers said he would also be watching later Saturday afternoon when Stevie Wonderboy opens his 3-year-old campaign against Brother Derek in the San Rafael Stakes.

"I pay attention to my horse and what he's doing, but I like to be aware of what some of the others are doing too," he said. "Although I'd be watching the San Rafael today even if I didn't have a horse like First Samurai."

Trickle of Gold possible for First Lady

Saturday morning was a busy one at Gulfstream Park. Along with First Samurai, other notable horses on the clocker's tab were Trickle of Gold, Park Avenue Prince, Suave, and Clock Stopper.

Trickle of Gold worked four furlongs in 46.80 seconds under the watchful eye of trainer Mike Gorham, who said he is considering Saturday's Grade 3 First Lady Handicap for the filly's next start. Trickle of Gold had won six races in a row, including Laurel's Grade 3 Safely Kept Handicap, before having the streak snapped when she finished far back in Santa Anita's Grade 1 La Brea on Dec. 31.

"The track was sloppy, and she just didn't handle it in California," said Gorham. "I'll wait to see how she comes out of this work, but if she does I might run her back in the First Lady."

Park Avenue Prince, who closed out his 2-year-old season by finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 in company with stablemate Mighty Mecke. Trainer Steve Klesaris said he could bring Park Avenue Prince back in the Grade 3 Holy Bull on Feb. 4.

Rehoboth comes through

One week ago, trainer Frank Gomez watched his most promising 3-year-old, In Summation, finish off the board as the favorite in the Aventura Stakes. On Saturday, Gomez got a measure of revenge when his second-best 3-year-old, Rehoboth, easily defeated a talented field of second-level allowance horses, including the previous undefeated Fabled.

Rehoboth, a son of Wagon Limit, rallied from well off the pace to easily overtake the leaders, then drew off to an easy win despite drifting out badly in the final furlong under jockey Javier Castellano. The victory was the third in 10 starts for Rehoboth, who trailed throughout while making his turf debut in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby on New Year's Day.

Fabled, a winner of his first two starts, encountered trouble around the turn when he was in tight between horses and did well to outfinish Express News to be second.

Bushfire looks ready for stakes

Bushfire likely earned herself an opportunity to try stakes competition after outgaming Teammate to win a competitive first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies going a mile on Friday. The victory was the second in a row for Bushfire, a son of Louis Quatorze, who is trained by Eddie Kenneally.

"I liked her coming into the race, and it helped that she already had a couple of races at a mile or further under her belt," said Kenneally. "If all goes well I might try her in the Davona Dale."

The Grade 2 Davona Dale will be decided at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 4.

Indy Storm, Master Command meet

Indy Storm, who has had just three starts since finishing fourth in the 2005 Belmont Stakes, and Master Command top a field of eight older horses in Monday's $35,000 allowance feature to be decided at 1 1/8 miles under second-level allowance conditions.

Indy Storm will be seeking his first victory since May 21 at Pimlico, while Master Command brings a two-race win streak into Monday's main event.