made Valentine’s Day even sweeter than usual for owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Bob Baffert last February 12.
The 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, a $950,000 purchase at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, produced an impressive victory in a mile race at Santa Anita, covering the distance in 1:34.60 and earning a 97 Beyer Figure.
“Kentucky Derby” flashed in a lot of minds and, despite Fed Biz having never competed at the stakes level, his name was high in many Derby Watch polls and his name was called early in Triple Crown fantasy drafts.
A month later, however, came the announcement that Fed Biz was off the Derby trail due to a “hind end issue” that wasn’t readily specified or diagnosed.
“It was muscular, not skeletal,” Baffert said Thursday. “We gave him 60 days off, then started easy training again. He’s been doing really well down here.”
Friday evening, Fed Biz is scheduled to make his return to racing in the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at one mile on the Polytrack main course. Fed Biz, with Joe Talamo riding, is the 2-1 morning line favorite followed by Real Good Deal stakes winner Unusual Heatwave (5-2, Rafael Bejarano), Jimmy Creed (5-2, Garrett Gomez), Shaun Washington (4-1, Corey Nakatani) , Private Zone (10-1, Martin Pedroza) and Tribal Tribute (12-1, Kevin Krigger).
“I was thinking about running him shorter (6 furlong Pirate’s Bounty, Wednesday, September 5) or at a mile,” Baffert said. “This is not an easy spot. It’s a pretty tough race…
“It’s good to have him back, he was one of my top 3-year-olds early in the year.”