Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fatal Bullet Takes Aim as Keeneland Opens 10-9-09

Fatal Bullet Takes Aim as Keeneland Opens
Fatal Bullet seeks an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint in the Phoenix.

Bear Stables’ Fatal Bullet, second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), returns to a synthetic surface in the grade III Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland for its Oct. 9 opening-day program.

The 10-race card, which features the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I), begins at the special time of 2:15 p.m. EDT. Thereafter, first post will be 1:05 p.m. through Oct. 31.

For opening day, there are seven races that attracted full fields of 12. The others have 11, 10, and nine entrants.

Fatal Bullet, a 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Red Bullet out of the Regal Classic mare Sararegal, will make his Keeneland debut in the Phoenix. In the past, however, he has shown an affinity for synthetic surfaces, having won on Polytrack at Turfway Park and Woodbine and finished second on the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita Park, which hosted the World Championships last year.

All eight of Fatal Bullet’s wins—in 13 starts—have come on synthetics. If he wins the Phoenix on Polytrack, he would earn an automatic berth in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint because the Phoenix is a “Win and You’re In” event.

Reade Baker trains Fatal Bullet, who entered the 2008 Sprint off a victory in the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway.

In his last start Aug. 9 at Saratoga, Fatal Bullet faded early in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes (gr. II) on the dirt. In his only other start this year, Fatal Bullet won the Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine July 19 in a sharp 1:14.90 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

Regular rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva is named to ride Fatal Bullet in the six-furlong Phoenix at 118 pounds.