07/19/2009 12:00AM

Fatal Bullet takes Bold Venture in 2009 debut


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fatal Bullet, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year, won his first start since finishing second in last year's Breeder's Cup Sprint in the $151,350 Bold Venture Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine.

Fatal Bullet led throughout the 6 1/2-furlong dash, setting fractions of 22.58 seconds and 44.55 under Eurico Rosa Da Silva. He established a clear advantage early in the stretch, and then coasted home on top by 2 1/4 lengths over Jungle Wave, who held off True Vindication for second. Not Bourbon, the 2008 Queens's Plate winner, was scratched, reducing the field size to five.

The final time, 1:14.90, was just 0.36 off Fatal Bullet's own Polytrack record, which was set in last year's Bold Venture.

"The horse was ready," said Da Silva. "He looked fabulous. When you move your hands a little bit, he's there to give you [something]. I think he'll be better this year."

Fatal Bullet, trained by Reade Baker, earned $90,000 for Bear Stable.

* Smart Surprise ($2.70) captured Sunday's other stakes, the $160,800 Ontario Matron, by four lengths over a closing Tell It As It Is. With Patrick Husbands aboard, Smart Surprise ran a 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.55 after a four-wide trip.