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Fed Biz Edges Tritap in San Fernando Thriller

Considered by many to be Bob Baffert’s top 3-year-old a year ago, Fed Biz made amends for a disappointing run in the opening day Malibu with an impressive gate to wire win in Saturday’s Grade II San Fernando Stakes, winning by a head under Mike Smith and getting the 1 1/16 in 1:42.34. The win was Baffert’s record fifth in the prestigious middle leg of Santa Anita’s Strub series for newly turned four year olds.

“I expect so much from this horse, when he loses, it’s very disappointing,” said Baffert. “He’s a very talented horse and he was good today going to the gate and he ran well. In the Malibu, he went to the gate and he tried to sit down in there…so it was a tough go.”

Sent from the gate by Smith, who broke from post position eight in a nine-horse field, set fractions of 23.59, 47.28, 1:11.41 and 1:36.08, while being closely pursued by both Tritap, with Corey Nakatani, and Handsome Mike with Mario Gutierrez.

“I really liked him when I breezed him before the race on opening day and for some reason he got really hot,” said Smith. “I hadn’t taken two steps inside the gate and he was over, (and he) threw me out the back, and he just wasn’t right after that.”

When asked about the San Fernando stretch duel with Tritap, Smith acknowledged that Fed Biz is maturing in all aspects of his game.

“Early on, he used to be a little stubborn about switching to his right (lead). Once I got him over there, he’s game, he wouldn’t let somebody by him unless they surprised him.”

As for what might be next for the 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, Baffert indicated that the Grade II Strub Stakes on Feb. 2 could be a bit too soon, making the March 2, Grade I Santa Anita Handicap a more likely destination.

“I ran him back too quick after we beat Jimmy Creed (in the El Cajon Stakes, Aug. 31) at Del Mar,” said Baffert. “I don’t want to do that again.”

Fed Biz, who was the morning line favorite at 7-2, was a post time overlay of 9-2, and paid $11.20, $6.20 and $4.40.

With the winner’s share of $90,000, Fed Biz, who is owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., increased his bankroll to $274,456, from an overall mark of 8-4-0-1.

 

 

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