03/03/2009 1:00AM

Fatal Bullet tops Canadian ratings

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fatal Bullet, last year's Sovereign Award winner in the Horse of the Year and sprinter categories, heads the overall 2008 Canadian Thoroughbred ratings with a figure of 119.

The ratings, compiled by Woodbine racing secretary and director of racing Steve Lym with input from his counterparts in Western Canada, have been revamped this year and were released Tuesday by the Jockey Club of Canada.

In previous years, horses who raced in an open stakes in Canada during the year in question were eligible to be rated on their single best performance in this country.

Now, eligibility has been restricted to top three finishers in open stakes in Canada, but ratings earned for top performances outside the country are included.

The ratings for 3-year-olds and up are broken down into distance categories according to the international model SMILE (Sprint-Mile-Intermediate-Long-Extended). In the Canadian version, the Long and Extended categories are merged.

Sprint includes distances of less than 7 1/2 furlongs, Mile one mile to 1 1/8 miles, Intermediate 1 3/16 miles to 1 5/16 miles, and Long/Extended 1 3/8 miles and longer.

Fatal Bullet, owned by the Bear Stable of Danny Dion and based at Woodbine with trainer Reade Baker, earned his rating for his second-place finish in the six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Forever Together, Ventura, and Quijano - all based outside Canada - are next in the overall ratings at 118.

Forever Together, who tops the Intermediate category, finished third in Woodbine's Canadian at 1 1/8 miles and earned her rating for her victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at 1 1/4 miles.

Ventura, runner-up in the Woodbine Mile on the turf, ranks second behind Fatal Bullet in the Sprint category based on her victory in the seven-furlong Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

The German invader Quijano's rating is best in the Long/Extended category and is based on his second-place finish in Woodbine's Northern Dancer at 1 1/2 miles on grass.

A weight/beaten lengths formula is factored into the ratings, and Champs Elysees, who won the Northern Dancer by a nose while in receipt of three pounds from Quijano, is listed at 115 for his performance there.

Marsh Side, at 117, stands second in the Long/Extended category and rounds out the overall top five for his win in Woodbine's Canadian International at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

The 2-year-old rankings combine Sprint and Mile categories, the only distances contested by the divisions.

Southern Exchange is the top-ranked male at 106 for his win in Woodbine's six-furlong Colin, while C Karma heads the fillies at 106 courtesy of her score in Woodbine's Grade 3 Natalma at one mile on turf.