Reade Baker, the trainer of Fatal Bullet, has a message for Zensational, the 7-5 morning line favorite in the $2-million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), and the rest of the field: We’re ready, and we’re going to run hard.
“Don’t worry, we’ll let them know where we’re at,” Baker said Nov. 3 following the post position draws for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park. “Zensational isn’t going to walk away from these horses and open up seven or eight lengths on his own. He’s not going to do it. He may be able to lope a little bit, but we’ll be right there, right beside him, so we’ll have our eye on him the whole time.”
Zensational has the No. 1 post in the six-furlong race Nov. 7, and Bear Stables’ Fatal Bullet is in the No. 3 spot. A 4-year-old gelded son of Red Bullet, Fatal Bullet was Canada’s 2008 Horse of the Year and champion sprinter, and he has career earnings of $1,003,636. He is the 9-2 third choice on the Sprint’s morning line and will be ridden by Eurico Da Silva.
Last year, Fatal Bullet finished second in the Sprint over Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface. He was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Eclipse Award winner Midnight Lute, who won the race for the second consecutive year.
Fatal Bullet has raced three times in 2009, scoring by 2 1/4 lengths in the Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine on Polytrack, finishing last of six in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) on dirt at Saratoga, and defeating another 2009 Sprint entrant, Capt. Candyman Can, by a half-length in the Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland on Polytrack.
“He’s more mature this year; he’s a bigger, older, better horse,” Baker said. “He’s come back and run two super races, and they were as good as any he’s ever run.”
Because he’s a gelding, Fatal Bullet will continue to compete until “he says he’s had enough, and then we’ll be willing to stop on him,” Baker said. But this will be Fatal Bullet’s last appearance in the Breeders’ Cup. Instead, in the future, his major target will be the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), which is held each spring. This year the race will be run over a Tapeta surface at Dubai’s new Meydan Racecourse.
“The Breeders’ Cup isn’t going to be part of our program anymore after this year because it goes back to the dirt (at Churchill Downs in 2010),” Baker said. “He’ll go to Dubai next year, and that will be our focus every year.”