Intent on getting the lead from his far outside post, an aggressive Fed Biz was never challenged while romping to victory in track record time in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) July 26 at Del Mar (VIDEO).
Making his first start since the Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Nov. 1, Fed Biz ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 flat over the speed-favoring Polytrack Saturday, eclipsing the track mark of 1:41.48 set by the great Zenyatta in 2008.
"That performance was incredible," Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert told TVG afterward. "He's been off for so long but he's always had some brilliance about him. This is one race I'd never won before. I was really excited about it."
Baffert said Fed Biz, who won the San Diego by 5 1/4 lengths, will be considered for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I), a race in which he also expects to start 2013 winner Game On Dude.
Kaleem Shah owns Fed Biz, a 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway , and Shah has some new owners in a partnership under the name of Fed Biz LLC, Baffert noted.
"I really had him tuned in for this. He's been working really well at Santa Anita and he really loves it down here. It's so gratifying when a big horse shows up," Baffert said.
Martin Garcia was once again aboard Fed Biz, who won the Pat O'Brien (gr. II) at seven furlongs over the Del Mar main track in a track record 1:21.12 last August. In his next start, he finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 1 and went to the sidelines.
The San Diego lost pre-race favorite Dance With Fate, euthanized after a tragic training accident July 24, and Summer Hit was scratched as well, reducing the field to nine. Multiple graded stakes winner Frac Daddy, shipping into Southern California from Kentucky for trainer Ken McPeek, was the 2-1 favorite and 121-pound highweight, with Fed Biz the 3-1 second choice.
Stuck in the far outside gate, Fed Biz broke on top and quickly cleared the field into the run into the clubhouse turn, tracked by Soi Phet, Handsome Mike, and morning line choice Imperative. Fed Biz maintained about a length clearance through quarter mile splits of :23.75 and :47.29, and began to inch away as he completed six furlongs in 1:10.81.
Leading at the quarter pole by about three lengths, Fed Biz powered home through the homestretch, firmly in command at the furlong mark en route to his record performance.
Footbridge, a 25-1 outsider, got up for second under Tyler Baze, with You Know I Know and Edwin Maldonado third. Frac Daddy, who raced midpack off the rail, had little response in the drive and was edged for third. Then came Handsome Mike, Honduran, Soi Phet, Imperative, and Battier.
Fed Biz fetched $950,000 from Shah out of the Lane's End Farm consignment at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. The bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Colts Neck Stables of Richard Santulli from the Wild Again mare Spunoutacontrol.
Now 3-for-3 over the Del Mar main track, Fed Biz owns a lifetime mark of 6-1-3 in 16 starts with earnings of $660,496.
Fed Biz carried 119 pounds and paid $8, $5.40, and $4.40 across the board, topping a $191.20 exacta. Godolphin's Footbridge, recording his first graded stakes placing for trainer Eoin Harty, returned $19 and $7.60. You Know I Know, looking to give trainer John Saddler consecutive San Diego wins, came on late for third and paid $4.40.
The record by Fed Biz was the second track mark of the day on the Polytrack. A race earlier, Big Cazanova won a one-mile allowance/optional claimer in 1:34.74, lowering the standard of 1:34.86 by Potesta in 2012. Peter Miller trains the 5-year-old Argentine-bred gelding owned by Dona Licha and ridden to victory by Corey Nakatani.