INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 6, 2012)—Fast Bullet appreciated a drop in class, dominating seven opponents in the $55,234 feature (video) Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Defeated for the first time when sixth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 3 and scratched from the Grade III Vernon O. Underwood Stakes Dec. 2, Fast Bullet was never menaced as the 2-5 favorite in his return to Cushion Track.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, the 4-year-old Speightstown colt made the lead immediately, relaxed through 22.73 and 45.72 splits, then kicked away in the stretch to win by 7 ¼ lengths. He paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10.
The final time of 1:15.64 was easily the fastest of the Autumn meet for 6 ½ furlongs. Chapman’s Peak was clocked in 1:17.05 in his Nov. 25 victory.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for Zayat Stables LLC, Fast Bullet won for the third time in four starts and pushed his earnings to $87,000. He has won his two races at Betfair Hollywood Park by a combined 11 lengths. The Kentucky bred won an optional claimer locally last Nov. 12 in his second and final start as a 3-year-old.
Sequoia Warrior, who is also trained by Baffert, was up in the final strides to gain second, a head in front of 10-1 shot Cyclometer. The 7-1 second choice, Sequoia Warrior, who hasn’t been worse than second in four Cushion Track appearances, paid $4.40 and $3.20. The show price on Cyclometer, who was the winner’s closest pursuer for almost the entire journey, was $3.
The win was the second of the afternoon for the Garcia-Baffert-Zayat combination. Z Big Apple won the first race for the connections, edging Mico Margarita by a nose as the 4-5 favorite.
Through 17 days of the Autumn meet, Baffert holds a 14-11 lead over John Sadler in the trainer standings.
Meanwhile, a Thursday double for Edwin Maldonado allowed him to take over sole possession of first place in the jockey’s race. Maldonado has an 18-17 advantage over Rafael Bejarano. Garcia is third with 16 victories.
Racing will resume Friday. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 10 a.m.
As part of Fiesta Friday, food and drink specials, including Mexican munchies, are available between 2-4 p.m. and Gold Club members can enter to win a $100 mutuel voucher.
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