05/11/2010 11:00PM

Fatal Bullet will give two-turn Eclipse a shot


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - No match for Hollywood Hit in last Sunday's seven-furlong Vigil, Fatal Bullet will be taking his game into a new arena.

Trainer Reade Baker said he plans to send Fatal Bullet around two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse here June 5.

"It's something we've wanted to try for a long time, and here's our chance," he said.

Fatal Bullet, who was Canada's champion sprinter and older horse in 2008, has recorded his nine wins on synthetic surfaces at distances ranging from five to seven furlongs.

The Vigil was Fatal Bullet's first start in more than six months, and he had not returned to training until the track opened here Feb. 15. Fatal Bullet finished second in the Vigil by three lengths, earning a 107 Beyer Speed Figure. Hollywood Hit earned a 114 Beyer.

"He lost to a very good horse who ran a good race and had a tremendous gallop-out," Baker said. "We couldn't handle him, but we handled the rest of them, and they were all supposedly fit horses."

While tipping his hat to Hollywood Hit in the Vigil, Baker said he believes his instructions to jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva did not aid Fatal Bullet's cause.

"I told Eurico to lay off [Hollywood Hit] and let him set the pace," Baker said. "I thought we could come and get him."

Fastin Bear has eye on Queen's Plate

Fastin Bear, who like Fatal Bullet is owned by the Bear Stable of Danny Dion, will be looking for his second win in as many starts this season when he goes in Saturday's $150,000 Queenston Stakes.

The Queenston, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds, is considered an important stepping-stone to the July 4 Queen's Plate.

"This race will determine how far we proceed down this path," Baker said.

Fastin Bear won two of his three starts at 2 and concluded his campaign with a 5 1/4-length win under Da Silva here in the seven-furlong Simcoe, a yearling sales stakes. After wintering in Hollywood Park, Fastin Bear returned to action with a rallying victory in the five-furlong prep for the Woodstock Stakes.

Baker elected to skip the Woodstock, a six-furlong race here April 25, with an eye toward the Queenston.

"We couldn't do both, I thought," Baker said.

Fastin Bear's five opponents in the Queenston will include Hollinger, who will be making his season debut after going undefeated in four starts and being crowned Canada's champion 2-year-old male last season.

Field Commission falls short again

Hollywood Hit's Vigil victims also included Field Commission, who won the Vigil last year and went on to be voted Canada's champion sprinter.

After finishing a closing second behind Hollywood Hit in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier, Field Commission looked to be in with a serious shot at turning the tables at a longer distance.

Instead, Field Commission was unable to mount an effective rally and finished fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths, under new rider Patrick Husbands.

"Patrick had to stand up on him around the three-eighths pole," said Danny Vella, who trains Field Commission and owns the horse in partnership with Ed Seltzer. "He came out with a few cuts on his legs. That might have cost us second, but I don't anybody was going to beat the winner that day."

Field Commission also is accomplished on the grass. He won the Grade 2 Nearctic at six furlongs and finished second in the Grade 2 Highlander at six furlongs and the Grade 3 Play the King at seven furlongs.

With the Connaught Cup having been shortened from 1 1/16 miles to seven furlongs, Field Commissioner has another turf target.

"If his injuries are all healed up, we'll look for the Connaught," Vella said.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Connaught Cup, which is the first turf stakes of the season, will be run May 30.

Turf horses ready to roll this weekend

If the weather holds up, turf racing is scheduled to begin here this weekend with a pair of races slated for the E.P. Taylor course on Saturday and Sunday's cards.

Overnight rain forced the cancellation of the first scheduled session on the turf training track, which is scheduled to be open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Rain is in the forecast, but the weekend conditions should be favorable.

Saturday's grass races include the allowance prep for the Connaught Cup. The allowance prep for the June 5 Nassau will be run Sunday.

Both races are to be run at the same distances as the stakes: The Connaught prep for 4-year-olds and upward is run at seven furlongs and the Nassau prep for fillies and mares at one mile.

"There are a few more turf races for the early part of the meet," said Steve Lym, racing secretary and a director of racing at Woodbine. "We usually start off with one each day until we get into June. But the weather's been so good that the turf's ahead of schedule, and we want to take advantage of it."

The full turf schedule will kick in next month with two races scheduled for Wednesday evenings, one for Thursdays, two for Fridays, and three for weekends and holidays.

* Handicapping author Jim Mazur will be back at Woodbine on Saturday for a seminar beginning at 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand. The focus will be on Saturday's Preakness Stakes, and attendees will receive free copies of Mazur's "Preakness Zone" and "Debut Trainer Guide."

* There will be no advance wagering Friday on the Pimlico card, but Woodbine will offer the daily double comprising Friday's Black-Eyed Susan and Saturday's Preakness.

* Woodbine's revamped website includes an index of available videotaped workouts. The workout videos are accompanied by notes by Adam Hickman of the Woodbine media communications department.