Fed Biz barely hold off Tritap and Guilt Trip after a grueling stretch duel, but it was enough to win the $150,000, Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes in Santa Anita.
Fed Biz broke alertly, and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith sent him to the lead and was followed initially by Handsome Mike to the inside and Tribal Jewel to his outside. Regulus was fourth while Tritap was fifth from his outside post.
They made the first turn on a sensible pace—23.59—with FedBiz taking a half-length lead over Handsome Mike who was tracking him on the inside with jockey Mario Gutierrez.
As they reached the backstretch, Smith made a slight pull and stretched his lead to just over a length with Handsome Mike still on second and Tritap placed in tracking position in third on the outside under Corey Nakatani.
By the three-quarter mile pole, Tritap started to pressure Fed Biz for the lead, Handsome Mike faded to fifth with Battle Force and Guilt Trip threatening with their rallies from third and fourth.
As they turned for home, Fed Biz was on even terms with Tritap, and then, it was Guilt Trip under Joe Talamo, who moved to third place four-wide and started a strong rally from two lengths away.
The fight was on all the way through the stretch with jockeys Smith and Nakatani showing off their skills in a beautiful mano-a-mano that went down to the wire with Smith and Fed Biz prevailing gamely by a head over Nakatani and Tritap.
It was half-a-length back to Guilt Trip in third, who was flying but his big rally fell short. Battle Force flattened out after threatening at the beginning of the home stretch to finish fourth followed by Handsome Mike to round up the money positions.
The favorite was another Bob Baffert-trained horse, Mile High Magic at 4-1, but he was off to a very slow start and was never in the race. Jockey martin Garcia eased him on the backstretch and didn't finish the race.
The struggles continue for Handsome Mike, who after upsetting the Pennsylvania Derby, hasn't been able to replicate that effort and finished fifth about five lengths from the winner.
Tritap made a big run on his stakes races debut for the same connections that won this race last year with Tapizar. He is an improving four-year-old and has a lot of upside, it will be interesting to see him going forward.
Guilt Trip is a lightly raced four-year-old who improved while making his second start for Bob Baffert after being trained by Chad Brown on the East Coast. He is another colt that has to be counted on moving forward.
The win stopped a three-race losing streak for the Bob Baffert-trained Fed Biz who won his last race on the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes on Aug. 31 at Del Mar.
That race, where he battled it out with Jimmy Creed in the stretch after leading race, was very similar to this one. Joe Talamo was aboard that time.
Fed Biz is a four-year-old colt by Giant's Causeway out of the Wild Again dam Spunoutofcontrol, owned by Kaleem Shah.
His lifetime record now stands at 8-4-0-1 with earnings of $274,456 and has won two stakes races, El Cajon, and now, the San Fernando.
Fed Biz could be stretched out in distance for his next start. The next start that suits the conditions for his group is the $200,000 Strub Stakes over nine furlongs on Feb. 2, serving as a prep race for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap over 10 furlongs on Mar. 2.
|San Fernando Stakes - Grade: 2|
|Age Restriction: Four Year Old|
|Distance: One And One Sixteenth Miles On The Dirt|
|Track Condition: Fast|
Winning Time: 1:42.34 Fractions: 23.59, 47.28, 1:11.41, 1:36.08|
|8||Fed Biz||Mike E. Smith||11.20||6.20||4.40|
|10||Tritap||Corey S. Nakatani||9.80||6.40|
|5||Guilt Trip||Joseph Talamo||5.60|
|Also ran: 1 - Battle Force , 6 - Handsome Mike , 9 - Tribal Jewel , 3 - Regulus , 2 - Fly Lexis Fly , 4 - Mile High Magic|
|Scratched horses: Sky Kingdom (Trainer)|
|Winning Breeder: Colts Neck Stables LLC|
|Winning Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.|
|Winning Trainer: Bob Baffert|
|Wager Type||Winning Numbers||Payoff|
|$1 Pick 3||11-8-8 (3 correct)||234.70|
|$2 Daily Double||8-8||54.80|