Walter Downey’s Pennsylvania-bred Fabulous Strike, an early favorite for last year’s TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) before a lung infection put an early end to his season, has recovered and will return to the track for trainer Todd Beattie at his Hollywood Casino at Penn National base.
Fabulous Strike, bred by Downey’s Tea Party Stable, won three of four starts in 2007 culminating with a victory in the six-furlong Vosburgh Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 30. His other wins came in the Aristides Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs in near track-record time for six furlongs and the Panhandle Handicap at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
“He got a clean bill of health,” Beattie said Feb. 11. “He fought a hard battle; it was a very serious lung infection that required three months of treatment. I’m very optimistic about him coming back to where he was at (before the infection).”
When Fabulous Strike does return to the races, perhaps this spring, Beattie said he won’t be looking to take on monsters right away. “We want to give him a race or two,” the trainer said. “We won’t be looking to take on the heaviest horses in the country.”
Now 5, Fabulous Strike, a gelding by Smart Strike out of the Lost Code mare Fabulous Find, was one of a handful of yearlings retained by Downey at his Gettysburg, Pa., farm. Beattie said in a change from previous years, Downey decided to keep several top-shelf yearlings to race, and Fabulous Strike was one of them.
Fabulous Strike finished fifth in his career debut as a 2-year-old in late December at Tampa Bay Downs. He returned about two months later and broke his maiden at Penn National in a rapid 1:03.38 for 5 1/2 furlongs.
Fabulous Strike won four stakes as a 3-year-old, two at Belmont and two at Mountaineer.