Fast Bullet Takes a Shot in the Sprint

The longshot by Speightstown will make his first start of the year in the Sprint.

One of the most intriguing horses entered in the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) is a lightly raced longshot named Fast Bullet.

The 4-year-old son of Speightstown  owned by Ahmed Zayat has had only two lifetime starts, both in 2011. He is part of Southern California trainer Bob Baffert’s deepest contingent in a single Breeders’ Cup World Championships race—three horses that also include Coil and Capital Account , who finished 1-2 in the Oct. 6 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (gr. I).

Fast Bullet has not started in nearly a year. He broke his maiden at Santa Anita Park by 6 1/4 lengths, going six furlongs in 1:08 2/5. His last race was Nov. 12, 2011, in a $48,350 allowance over six furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park, which he won by 3 3/4 lengths. The chestnut colt is two-for-two.

Baffert said Fast Bullet had "some issues" and needed time off, but now the colt is training well and deserves a shot in the Nov. 3 Sprint. He will be ridden by Joe Talamo.

"He is like a reliever coming in for one inning. That is basically what he is going to do," Baffert said. "He can go eight (1:08) and change. If I ran him in an allowance race, he’d probably run just as fast as he’d run in the Sprint, so why not take a chance when the big money is up. The way he is training tells me he could be sitting on a big effort."

Zayat also has Justin Phillip  entered in the race. He is a 4-year-old son of First Samurai who is trained by Steve Asmussen. Justin Philip is grade-I placed this year, having finished second by a neck behind Poseidon's Warrior  in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) on a muddy Saratoga track Aug. 5. While the colt has raced once on the lead this year, for the most part, he’s come from off the pace.

When asked what had been discussed when considering entering both horses in the Sprint, Baffert said he told Zayat the horse deserved a shot.

"(Fast Bullet) worked with Smiling Tiger  the other day and out-worked him pretty handily," Baffert said, referring to a six-furlong work Oct. 14 at Santa Anita. Fast Bullet went in 1:11 2/5 to Smiling Tiger’s 1:12. Since that work, Smiling Tiger put in two bullet works: six furlongs in 1:11 4/5 on Oct. 20 and a four-furlong work Oct. 26 in :46 4/5.

"The way he’s training tells me he could be sitting on a big effort," Baffert said. "If the track comes up fast and he gets out there and they him alone, he’s going to be really dangerous."