09/05/2012 12:47PM

Woodbine: Fatal Bullet runs for $80,000 tag in Friday sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Fatal Bullet is entered with an $80,000 claiming tag in a sprint Friday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Fatal Bullet, the 2008 Canadian Horse of the Year, will run with an $80,000 claiming tag in the featured eighth race Friday at Woodbine, a third-level optional claimer at six furlongs. Post time for the first of nine races is 1:05 p.m.

Fatal Bullet, 7, finished second to Midnight Lute in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in 2008 after taking the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint Stakes with a 108 Beyer Speed Figure. The highlights of his 2009 campaign were victories in the Bold Venture Stakes (109 Beyer) and the Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland.

The last few years have been lean for Fatal Bullet, but he captured an optional claimer following a winter layoff April 14. He subsequently finished third in an open allowance and has been idle since running seventh behind the likes of Smokey Fire and reigning champion sprinter Essence Hit Man on the grass in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes on June 24.

Reade Baker trains the Bear Stable-owned Fatal Bullet, who will be ridden by Emma Wilson.

Quincy Welch was named on the other half of the Bear Stable entry, Bear Tough Tiger, who won his last start July 11 in a $40,000 starter allowance, earning a 93 Beyer. He looks to be the “now” horse in the six-horse field.

Hollywood Hit, Canada’s champion sprinter in 2010, also has seen better days. The 6-year-old has been sidelined since last winter, when he finished 10th in back-to-back stakes at Turfway Park.

Hollywood Hit has been working bullets for trainer Terry Jordan, who will give the red-hot journeyman Jim McAleney a leg up.

Exfactor, the lone 3-year-old in the lineup, is making his first start for leading trainer Mark Casse.

Exfactor won the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill last year, when he was trained by Bernie Flint. He subsequently took the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds before ending 11th there in the Grade 3 Lecomte. He has been laid up since a wide seventh-place finish in the March 3 Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn.

Court of the Realm has struggled since early last year, when he capped a five-race win streak with a victory in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes on the grass. He is looking to regroup following a layoff, during which he worked quickly for trainer Peter Berringer.

Rounding out the field is Executive Five, who hit the board in three Ontario-sired stakes at the meet, including a second to Royal Egbert in the Aug. 6 Shepperton.