05/07/2010 12:00AM

Sprint champs square off in Vigil


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fatal Bullet and Field Commission, the last two Canadian champion sprinters, will clash over seven furlongs Sunday at Woodbine in a tough renewal of the $150,000 Vigil Stakes.

Fatal Bullet was Canadian Horse of the Year in 2008, when he finished a brave second to Midnight Lute in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Last year, Fatal Bullet captured 2 of 4 starts, including the July 19 Bold Venture Stakes in his first appearance in nine months. After winning the Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland in October, he was shipped back to Santa Anita for a second go at the BC Sprint, finishing sixth.

Trainer Reade Baker said Fatal Bullet was turned out at a Kentucky farm over the winter before going back into training here in February. He bypassed the April 11 Jacques Cartier Stakes in favor of the Grade 3 Vigil, and Baker is excited with the way the gelding has been training.

"He's worked fantastic," Baker said. "He had a couple of 59 [works], back to back. He's good to go."

Baker has no reservations with running Fatal Bullet at seven furlongs, a distance at which he has a second from two starts. He also said he has no specific plans for Fatal Bullet after the Vigil, although some experimentation is possible.

"Down the road, we might try him two turns and we might try him on the dirt again," Baker said.

Field Commission, last year's champion sprinter, notched his first stakes win in the 2009 Vigil after ending up third in the Jacques Cartier. He overcame traffic problems to win the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes on the grass Oct. 17.

In his season opener this year, which came in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier, Field Commission lagged well behind the field early before rallying strongly on his left lead to finish second to Hollywood Hit.

"I thought he ran a great race," trainer Danny Vella said. "He's most vulnerable going six [furlongs] on the Polytrack, because he needs more time to get wound up and going. Seven suits him better."

Hollywood Hit won the Jacques Cartier in his first outing since Sept. 30. He could link up with Fatal Bullet in a stirring front-end battle.

Together Indy came from a stalking position to take the Grade 2, seven-furlong Commonwealth Stakes over Keeneland's Polytrack in April.

Grazettes Landing defeated Ontario-sired stock here opening day in the Debut Stakes.