Saturday, September 27, 2008 12:00 AM
By Eric Wing
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 27, 2008 . . . Fatal Bullet, favored at 6-5, assumed command shortly after the start of the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) and made every pole a winning one, dominating his eight three-year-old foes and rolling to a powerful 7 3/4-lengths victory in 1:08.03. The final time broke the Turfway Park record for six furlongs by two-fifths of a second.
Fatal Bullet's performance was so impressive that his connections will send their Woodbine-based charge to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint on October 25 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Owned by Bear Stables Ltd. and ridden by Eurico Rosa Da Silva, Fatal Bullet carved out fractions of :21.71 for the quarter and :44.44 for the half en route to his wire-to-wire score. Silver Sword, a 14-1 proposition, made a gallant challenge to Fatal Bullet at the top of the stretch but ended a length and a half short. No Advantage (34-1) closed belatedly to finish half a length behind, a neck better than the closing Hatta Fort (5-2).
Last time out, Fatal Bullet captured the Tom Ridge Labor Day Stakes over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. He is now 7-for 10 lifetime and 7-for-8 over all-weather surfaces.
"I thought the competition at Presque Isle Downs may have been a little stiffer last time, but he sure ran fast today," said trainer Reade Baker. "When you're a little unsure of the circumstances that you're in, I guess the best place to be is on the lead so you can't get in any trouble. We'll be at Breeders' Cup next, God willing."
Fatal Bullet gave his rider nary an anxious moment. "When I worked him for this race he did it so easy," said Da Silva. "I told Reade that he's coming into this race in top shape. I cantered him in the warm ups and he was very relaxed, just playing. He did everything in this race so easily. I'd go out to California with confidence in him."
Stewart Elliott, rider of Silver Sword, was impressed by the winner as well as by his own horse. "We had a good trip. I thought he ran a great race. The winner looks like a bear so I'm happy with the effort."
Fatal Bullet returned $4.40 to win.
The complete order of finish in the Sprint: Fatal Bullet, Silver Sword, No Advantage, Hatta Fort, Salute the Sarge, Nautical Storm, Beyond Ready, Gentleman James and That's Grand.