12/14/2015 11:12AM

Fusaichi Samurai finally debuts after two delays


CYPRESS, Calif. – The debut of the expensive yearling purchase Fusaichi Samurai, already delayed twice, will occur in Thursday’s fourth race at Los Alamitos, a maiden race at six furlongs.

A weekday maiden race could be the ideal place for Fusaichi Samurai to launch his career. The race is the fourth on an eight-race program that begins at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. Thursday’s card is the first racing day of the final week of the Los Alamitos winter meeting, which concludes Sunday. Santa Anita begins its winter-spring meeting Dec. 26.

Fusaichi Samurai was purchased for $260,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2013. By Street Cry, Fusaichi Samurai is owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Bob Baffert.

This is the third time that Baffert has tried to start Fusaichi Samurai’s career. The colt was briefly in training in the spring of 2014, recording three workouts before being sidelined. Fusaichi Samurai worked steadily from November 2014 until April of this year before being given another break. He resumed workouts in September and has worked consistently in recent months.

Fusaichi Samurai is part of a field of seven in the maiden race, which includes five first-time starters.

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Race 4


Fusaichi Samurai (Career debut)

◗ Fusaichi Samurai is out of Egyptian Queen, a Storm Cat mare who did not race. Egyptian Queen is the dam of Global View, a winner of 3 of 16 starts and $470,227. Global View, by Galileo, won the 2013 Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park and the American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs in 2014.

◗ Fusaichi Samurai has been based primarily at Los Alamitos during his time with Baffert.

“It’s taken a while to get him going,” Baffert said. “He’s had a lot of little things. He was a little immature.”

◗ Baffert said he is limiting his expectations for Fusaichi Samurai’s debut. At the same time, he is using jockey Martin Garcia, one of his primary riders. Bettors are likely to gravitate toward Fusaichi Samurai in the absence of a clear second choice.

“I think he’ll probably need one,” Baffert said. “He’ll be ready for the big meet [at Santa Anita].”

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 4 Fusaichi Samurai. Trainer Bob Baffert is 26-2-5-6 with a $0.69 ROI over the past five years with first-time starters at Los Alamitos. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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Wildman Hart (Beyer: 57)

◗ Wildman Hart was fourth in his debut at Santa Anita last March, dueling for the lead for a half-mile before fading in the final furlong. Trained by Peter Miller, Wildman Hart has been gelded since that race. Wildman Hart had a series of quick workouts at Del Mar in November, suggesting he can set the pace.

Silent Bird (Career debut)

◗ A first-time starter, Silent Bird has worked consistently in recent months for trainer Mark Glatt. The colt, by Summer Bird, drew the rail for this race. Fernando Perez, one of the leading riders at the current winter meeting, has the mount.