07/15/2010 12:24PM

Fatal Bullet out for third straight Bold Venture victory


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Fatal Bullet and Hollywood Hit, the two best Woodbine-based sprinters in recent years, will clash for the second time Saturday in the $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes.

Fatal Bullet captured the last two runnings of the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture, including when he was a 3-year-old in 2008. Later that year, he finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and was voted Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion sprinter for 2008.

Fatal Bullet chased Hollywood Hit throughout his season opener in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes, finishing second while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 107. Most recently, he competed around two turns for the first time in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes, in which he set a slow pace before fading to third under new rider Gerry Olguin.

Trainer Reade Baker said he was content with Fatal Bullet’s route experiment.

“We were happy with it,” said Baker. “I think I would have been happier had he had a jock who knew him. . . . , because when they got to the half-mile pole, instead of waiting, he would have gotten a ‘Bear Now’ ride and kicked on and cleared. [Olguin] didn’t know the horse, and was worried about going too fast.”

Baker was noncommittal regarding the strategy that will be employed with Fatal Bullet, who is reacquiring blinkers.

“Whatever we do, we won’t decide until the last second,” Baker explained. “I think a lot will depend on how the track plays. [Hollywood Hit] is obviously a very good horse, and he worked brilliantly the other day.”

The speedy Hollywood Hit took the six-furlong Jacques Cartier Stakes by a dwindling half-length in his season debut. He won the seven-furlong Vigil in track-record time, receiving a whopping 114 Beyer Figure of 114.

Trainer Terry Jordan predicted that the Bold Venture will be a tactical affair between Jim McAleney on Hollywood Hit, and Eurico Da Silva on Fatal Bullet.

“It’s a jockeys’ race,” said Jordan. “They’ll have to figure it out between them. I think if you chase [Hollywood Hit], you’re not going to win.”

Hollywood Hit has posted several sizzling works leading up to the Bold Venture. His fastest breeze was five-eighths in 57.20 seconds on June 3, and he went the same distance in :58 on July 7.

“That’s just the way he is,” said Jordan. “He likes to go fast. Real good horses work fast. He’s on his game, and it will take a good horse to beat him.”