Bear Stables’ Fatal Bullet left no questions unanswered Sept. 27 with an authoritative track-record victory in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park and appears headed to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Carrying Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who was in from Canada to ride for Woodbine-based trainer Reade Baker, Fatal Bullet broke a step slowly but quickly recovered to grab the lead through an opening quarter-mile in :21.71. The gelding got what his jockey called “a breather” through a half-mile in :44.44, then drew away with ease to win by 7 3/4 lengths in 1:08.03, a Polytrack record for the distance.
WinStar Farm’s Silver Sword, winner of an allowance test on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs & Casino, was caught wide while stalking the early leaders down the backstretch and kicked in nicely to finish for second. No Advantage, at 34-1, was third, with Hatta Fort fourth.
Fatal Bullet paid $4.40 to win as the 6-5 favorite in the field of nine.
“I think he won quite easily,” said Danny Dion of Bear Stables. “He broke a step slow. He’s the best he has ever looked today.”
When asked if Fatal Bullet, who has shown an affinity for synthetic surfaces, is Breeders’ Cup bound, Dion said: “Breeders’ Cup—we’re coming.”
“God willing,” Baker said. “I didn’t think (the Kentucky Cup Sprint field) had his kind of speed. But I’m not sure he doesn’t like dirt. When he raced at Belmont Park (in the grade II Woody Stephens Stakes), it was 97 degrees. That may have affected him. I know the 97 degrees did me in.”
Da Silva, who has ridden Fatal Bullet to victory in his last three races, said: “He was just running easy. When we got the breather on the turn, I knew he’d be very hard to catch.”
Fatal Bullet, a Florida-bred by Red Bulletout of the Regal Classic mare Sararegal, won one race as a 2-year-old. He is now six-for-seven this year, his defeat having come in the Belmont race.
In the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies, Frank Calabrese’s Sugar Mom rallied from well off a contested pace to capture the first stakes of her caree by a length. Ridden by Manuel Aguilar and trained by Wayne Catalano, Sugar Mom shipped in from Arlington Park, where she had won an entry-level allowance event on Polytrack by 12 lengths.
Sugar Mom, a Kentucky-bred filly by Monarchos out of the Ascot Knight mare Plenty of Sugar, has now won her last three starts, all on Polytrack.
Complicity rallied in tandem with Sugar Mom and finished second, a length behind the winner. Saxxy Rose Lee, at 88-1, held very well for third after dueling throughout with favored Bold Union, who checked in fourth.
Sky Mom covered the one mile in 1:37.86.