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FED BIZ, SMITH TAKE GRADE II SAN FERNANDO GATE TO WIRE, GRADE I BIG ’CAP ON MARCH 2nd COULD BE NEXT
TWO DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $231,345 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL POOL EXPECTED TO REACH $1 MILLION AS SANTA ANITA CARDS NINE RACES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 12, 2013)—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.
Tritap, who broke from the far outside under Nakatani, showed good speed while hung four-wide into the Club House turn, engaged the winner around the far turn and battled head and head with him to the wire and finished a half-length clear of Guilt Force and Joe Talamo.
Tritap, trained by Steve Asmussen and off at 9-1, paid $9.80 and $6.40.
Guilt Trip, one of three Baffert trainees, came with a big run from off the pace and finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of Battle Force and Garrett Gomez.
“Looking back, I wish I had just circled the field,” said Talamo. “I think if I’d have gone five-wide, I don’t know if he’d have won, but he came flying. He’s a nice horse.”
Guilt Trip, off at 7-1, paid $5.60 to show.
Baffert’s third runner, Mile High Magic, was off as the 4-1 favorite and was eased under Martin Garcia after breaking in the air and slowly.
With 28-1 shot Chasing the Heat taking the ninth and final race on Saturday, there is a two-day Pick Six carryover into Sunday of $231,345. The Pick Six will cover races four through nine and it is expected the total pool could reach $1million by fourth race post time.
The Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes for older horses at 1 1/8 miles on turf, is Sunday’s main event on the nine-race program. First post time is 12:30 p.m.