Fed Biz, after outlasting Tritap by a head in the San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) three weeks earlier, will meet his rival once again in the $200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
The 1 1/8-mile event restricted to 4-year-olds, one of three grade II races on Saturday's Santa Anita program, is to go off at 4:07 p.m. PST as the eighth on the card. Seven were entered.
Trainer Bob Baffert entered Kaleem Shah's Fed Biz as well as Gary and Mary West's Guilt Trip. The latter was beaten only a half-length in the Jan. 12 San Fernando when coming from well of the pace, and gets an extra half-furlong to work with in the Strub.
Fed Biz, though, is likely to be favored following his first graded stakes win in the San Fernando. The son of Giant's Causeway battled on the front end throughout the San Fernando, gamely fighting back along the rail against a determined Tritap to pull out a narrow decision.
A $950,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2010, Fed Biz has won four of eight lifetime starts, including three of his five tries at Santa Anita. The Strub will be his longest test to date. Mike Smith stays aboard from post 2.
Guilt Trip, formerly based in New York with trainer Chad Brown, appreciated the extra distance in the San Fernando following a fifth-place showing in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) in his first West Coast appearance Dec. 26. The son of Pulpit , seeking his first stakes win, will have Joe Talamo riding again.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Triptap nearly upset the San Fernando at odds of 9-1 for trainer Steve Asmussen. The gray Tapit colt had only one prior stakes outing, finishing sixth in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) in October. He has two wins and four seconds from eight lifetime starts and will be ridden once again by Corey Nakatani.
One other Strub entrant comes out of the San Fernando, fifth-place finisher Handsome Mike. Paul Reddam's Scat Daddy colt lost for the third consecutive time in the San Fernando since upsetting the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) last September for trainer Doug O'Neill.
Handsome Mike and Fed Biz will each carry top weight of 123 pounds, five more than their opponents.
Shipping in from Florida for the Strub is My Meadowview Farm's Stephanoatsee. Trained by Graham Motion, the son of A.P. Indy won the Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park in October. He will be making his first start since finishing third in the Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 17. Julien Leparoux is in the irons.
Pomona Derby winner Shadow Runner, trained by Mike Machowsky, and Groovin' Solo, third in the Robert B. Lewis (gr. II) one year ago for Myung Kwon Cho, complete the field.
$200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:07 p.m.), 4YOs, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Shadow Runner (FL), G K Gomez, 118, M Machowsky
2. Fed Biz (KY), M E Smith, 123, B Baffert
3. Guilt Trip (KY), J Talamo, 118, B Baffert
4. Tritap (KY), C S Nakatani, 118, S M Asmussen
5. Groovin' Solo (KY), A Quinonez, 118, M K Cho
6. Handsome Mike (KY), M Gutierrez, 123, D F O'Neill
7. Stephanoatsee (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, H G Motion