Red Bullet, winner of the Preakness Stakes last year, has started back in light training at owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Ocala, and could be ready to return to the races by August at Saratoga.
Farm trainer Danny Vella said the son of Unbridled is coming along great after suffering what was believed to be a hairline fracture last summer. "He was off a little, and there was some filling, but no big cracks," Vella said. "He just needed time. We started to bring him back, but he just wasn't himself, so we decided to give him more time. He's perfect now, and has begun galloping regularly. If he was just a nice horse, he'd be back to the races already. But he's not that type of horse. He may be the best horse I've worked with since Touch Gold. With horses like this, Mr. Stronach doesn't want them back at 90 percent. He trains himself and will let us know when he's 100 percent, so it doesn't pay to set up a schedule. He's such a great horse, mentally. He's always been the ultimate professional and knows how to keep himself fit."
Red Bullet's 3-year-old half-brother (by Meadowlake), named Millennium Allstar, won the $145,530 Achievement Handicap for Canadian-breds at Woodbine on Apr 1, going six furlongs in 1:11.51.
Vella said that 2-year-old champion Macho Uno also is coming along nicely after being sidelined this winter. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner showed signs of being off behind, which may have been caused by some small flakes on his ankle.
"He still has 30 days of turnout coming up, so we're sitting tight and taking our time," Vella said. "Now that he's missed the Triple Crown, there's no sense rushing him. We've learned to let good horses run when they're right. The way it looks now, he could be ready to return about the same time as Red Bullet."
Also on the comeback trail is Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Perfect Sting, who could be ready for the Black Helen Handicap at Hialeah Apr. 14, and last year's top-class 3-year-old Milwaukee Brew, who has been turned over to Joe Orseno and may be return in Saturday's Westchester Handicap at Aqueduct.
Stronach will be represented in Saturday's Flamingo Stakes by the up-and-coming closer Thunder Blitz, second in an allowance race at Gulfstream in his last start.