04/18/2012 4:38PM

Woodbine: Fatal Bullet still can win; Bear Tough Tiger no slouch


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fatal Bullet, Canada’s horse of the year in 2008, made his seasonal debut for a $62,500 claiming price here last Saturday and was a punctual front-running choice at 5 1/2 furlongs under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson.

“He’s lost a step, but he’s good enough to beat those,” said Reade Baker, who trains Fatal Bullet for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion.

While Fatal Bullet’s salad days may be a thing of the past, his stablemate Bear Tough Tiger, a 4-year-old gelding who has won 4 of his 5 lifetime starts, could be ready to pick up the torch for Baker and Dion.

Bear Tough Tiger had debuted for a $40,000 price here last year, finishing in a dead heat for first with entrymate Bear On Fire, and wound up his campaign with a sharp score under second-level allowance terms.

After wintering at Palm Meadows, Bear Tough Tiger made his seasonal debut in a $40,000 starter allowance here April 8 and was a workmanlike winner under Quincy Welch at six furlongs.

“I thought it was a good race,” said Baker. “He missed a work in Florida, when he kicked a wall, and when he got back here he didn’t work as fast as I wanted him to. I think he was a little on the short side, and he’ll run better than that next time.”

Bear’s Tough Tiger could make his stakes debut in the May 6 Vigil, a seven-furlong race for 4-year-olds and upward that offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000.