05/12/2010 11:00PM

Seven-week break suits Cool Bullet


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When a horse returns from a layoff it can often signal vulnerability because of a physical setback that necessitated the time off, or from the inactivity that can place the horse at a fitness disadvantage.

But in the case of Cool Bullet, his time away only seems to point to him having a stronger chance of producing yet another stakes-winning effort in Saturday's $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Winner of the March 27 Hansel Stakes at Turfway Park, Cool Bullet faces Thiskyhasnolimit, Privilaged, and three others.

Cool Bullet's break in action was by design, with trainer Steve Margolis making the Churchill Downs meet a focus for his stable, and the seven-furlong Matt Winn is one of the early 3-year-old stakes for sprinters at the meet.

"We thought a little bit about running him in the Derby Trial," a one-mile, Grade 3 race run at Churchill on April 24, Margolis said. "But I liked him having the [seven] weeks into this race after a hard race at Turfway."

Hard, perhaps, in terms of Cool Bullet running quickly, but easy in the manner in which he won the Hansel. Prominent throughout and with only limited urging in the stretch from Calvin Borel, Cool Bullet raced six furlongs in 1:08.97 over Polytrack. He ran a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure, improving his prior top Beyer by 10 points.

Cool Bullet also won the Sugar Bowl Stakes on dirt at Fair Grounds in December.

Brian Hernandez Jr. rides, replacing Borel, who is at Pimlico on Saturday to ride Derby winner Super Saver in the Preakness.

Thiskyhasnolimit, winner of the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill last fall, will seek to rebound from a dull performance in his final start of 2009 when sixth in the Nov. 28 Kentucky Jockey Club, a race won by Super Saver.

Always a skilled work horse, Thiskyhasnolimit has trained quickly for his first start in 5 1/2 months, with a six-furlong move in 1:11.20 at Churchill on May 4 being his fastest drill. He is the narrow 2-1 morning-line favorite over Cool Bullet at 5-2.

Privilaged is another legitimate challenger. His trainer, John Sadler, is 3 for 7 at Churchill Downs this spring. Privilaged was third behind D' Funnybone and Ibboyee in the Grade 2 Swale on March 20 at Gulfstream in his only start on dirt.