Fatal Bullet, shown winning the Bold Venture at Woodbine

Fatal Bullet, shown winning the Bold Venture at Woodbine

Michael Burns

Fatal Bullet Strikes at Santa Anita

Fatal Bullet, the Canadian invader for the Sentient Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface Oct. 19. Trainer Reade Baker and his wife, Janis, watched the work from the grandstand, as regular jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva was in the saddle.

Da Silva gave Fatal Bullet a leisurely gallop around the oval before setting him down for the work. The gelding traveled easily throughout the exercise, and the jockey gave Baker an enthusiastic okay sign when asked how he felt.

Back at the barn, Fatal Bullet cooled out quickly, not even breathing hard. Baker seemed pleased with the work. While the trainer said he might have preferred a little faster time, he wasn’t overly concerned.

“I’d rather go 1:01 2/5 than :58 and change,” he said. “If I need to do more during the week, I can do it. But if I go way too fast now, you can’t erase that.”

Fatal Bullet brings an impressive synthetic-track record into the six-furlong Sprint. Based at Woodbine, he has won several times over that Polytrack surface, as well as on synthetic surfaces at Presque Isle Downs and Turfway Park. His only loss this year in seven starts came over Belmont Park’s dirt surface, when he finished eighth in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II).

“I don’t know if he dislikes the dirt or not,” said Baker. “A couple of things happened that day. It was 97 degrees for openers. And when he come out of the turn, I don’t think he was going to get beat that far. Prado (jockey Edgar Prado) tested him, and when he just didn’t take off, he just wrapped up on him. I don’t think that’s a true race. I’d like to try him (on dirt) one more time.”

Baker said that Fatal Bullet handled Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface as well as the other synthetic tracks he has been over.

The conditioner has had the 3-year-old son of Red Bullet—Sararegal, by Regal Classic, since owner Danny (Bear) Dion’s Bear Stables purchased him for $27,000 at the 2007 Adena Springs 2-year-olds in training sale.

“He ran a couple of times at 2, and in his last start he came back a little off and needed some time,” said Baker. “He was a huge, thick horse, so we decided to cut him. He didn’t need all that bulk around his shoulders and his neck. He’s a big, thick, powerful horse now. He was way too big then.”

Baker also has Bear Now pointed for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I). The trainer could follow on the heels of fellow countryman Sandy Hawley, who won the Living Legends race at Oak Tree Oct. 18 against seven other Hall of Fame former jockeys.