07/18/2011 1:24PM

Woodbine: Bold Venture draws a deep cast

Coady Photography
Hollywood Hit won the Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes in his last start.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Hollywood Hit, last year’s Canadian champion sprinter, heads an accomplished nine-horse field Wednesday night in the $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine.

Hollywood Hit posted three wins from five starts in 2010. He wound up second in both of his losses, in the Bold Venture and the Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland.

Hollywood Hit was a distant fourth after tracking the rapid Essence Hit Man following a seven-month layoff in the May 8 Vigil, a seven-furlong stakes that he won in track-record time last year.

Trainer Terry Jordan said rating tactics hindered Hollywood Hit in the Grade 3 Vigil.

“That race was our fault,” Jordan explained. “We thought we’d let Essence Hit Man go, and we took back. We tried to rate him, and it didn’t work. He likes to run his own way. If you push him, he doesn’t like it, and if you take a hold of him, he doesn’t like it.”

Hollywood Hit rebounded most recently in the 5 1/2-furlong Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes at Presque Isle. He raced in second before taking control in the stretch en route to a 2 1/2-length tally and was awarded a 99 Beyer Speed Figure.

“We let him run his own race at Presque Isle,” Jordan said. “That other horse was three in front of him, and when he decided to go after him, he went after him and beat him easily.”

Essence Hit Man figures to lead the way in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint. He was second in the Vigil, after taking the Jacques Cartier Stakes in his season opener, but could only manage seventh last time in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes on turf.

Fatal Bullet notched his first stakes in the 2008 Bold Venture and was crowned the 2008 Canadian Horse of the Year. He also won the 2009 Bold Venture.

Fatal Bullet ended a nine-race losing streak when he captured a six-furlong optional claimer from off the pace here June 12.

Signature Red seems on top of his game. He won the six-furlong Highlander for the second year in a row June 26, and his previous Polytrack form was good.

There are two shippers in the field: Whistle Pig, who ran second in a six-furlong allowance at Presque Isle last Thursday; and Pacific Ocean, who was 3 for 3 prior to ending up second in the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup Handicap at Arlington on May 21.