Fed Biz maintained his perfect record at Del Mar Saturday as he led from start to finish to win the featured Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap in track record time of 1:41 flat for the mile and one-sixteenth over the Polytrack surface.
Sent to the lead from his outside post position by jockey Martin Garcia, Fed Biz held a safe lead throughout and then opened up in the stretch to score by 5 ¼ lengths as the 3-1 second choice in a field of ten older horses. It was his third victory in as many starts at the seaside track. The previous mark of 1:41.48 was set by the great Zenyatta in the 2008 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.
Fed Biz, a five-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway trained by Bob Baffert, won the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien Stakes last summer, also setting a track record, of 1:21.12 for the sprint distance. He had been unraced since running sixth to Goldencents in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Nov. 1.
Footbridge, a 25-1 longshot piloted by Tyler Baze, finished second Saturday, a length in front of You Know I Know, with Eastern invader Frac Daddy, the 2-1 favorite, another half-length back in fourth place.
The winner, owned by Kaleem Shah and partners, earned $120,000 with his sixth win in 16 starts and now has earnings of $660,496. He returned $8, $5.40 and $4.40 to his supporters. Footbridge paid $19 and $7.60, while You Know I Know returned $4.40 to show.
The San Diego Handicap is a major steppingstone to the Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic which will have its 24thrunning Sunday, August 24.
In the day’s supporting feature, the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for California-bred three-year-old fillies, Peter Redekop’s Go West Marie fought off a stout stretch challenge from Wonderful Lie to win by a half-length under Kent Desormeaux. Grazenette was third in the field of six fillies. Withdrawn from the race were Sunday Rules and Rovenna.
Go West Marie, trained by Eddie Truman, ran the seven furlongs in 1:22.29 and paid $5.40 as the favorite.
Two horses were euthanized Saturday afternoon as the result of catastrophic injuries suffered in separate grass races. Lil Swiss Echo suffered injuries to her right foreleg in the stretch of the fifth event, a mile and one-sixteenth contest, unseating jockey Drayden Van Dyke. The apprentice rider was taken to Scripps Hospital La Jolla for examination and released, apparently uninjured.
In the ninth race, also at a mile and one-sixteenth, J Kat was successfully pulled up on the far turn by jockey Corey Nakatani with severe injuries to his left foreleg.
In the Pick Six, there was one ticket with six winners and it paid $373,780. With $77,661 carried over from Friday, and $554, 300 bet Saturday, the total Pick Six pool was $631,961.
Saturday’s attendance was 27,072.
San Diego Handicap
MARTIN GARCIA (Fed Biz, winner) – “He was running, right from the start. I broke from the outside and went right to the front and right to the rail. The rail has been good, so I wanted to get there. He was running easy up front for me; nice and relaxed. When I went for home, he was strong. He’s a really good horse. There’s no doubt about that. And I had something left in the tank at the end. I think he’ll run farther.”
TYLER BAZE (Footbridge, second) – “I had a beautiful trip. He’s a nice horse and I had a lot of horse under me today. I’d worked him up at Santa Anita and he sure felt good. He’s a runner. I’m glad I’ve got a chance to ride him.”
EDWIN MALDONADO (You Know I Know, third) – “There was no pace in the race. I was up closer than I wanted to be and I sort of snuck up inside. I had to get up there. The winner – he just ran away. He walked the dog.”
BOB BAFFERT (Fed Biz, winner) -- “I knew he was going to run really well. He had been training like a monster and he has always been that kind of horse. He really loves this track and gets over it pretty well. I was so happy to win the San Diego because it has always been a race that has eluded me here. I had to win a couple (Kentucky) Derbies before I could win the San Diego Handicap.”
FRACTIONS: :23.73 :47.29 1:10.81 1:34.77 1:41.00 (Track record)
The winning time eclipses the track standard for the distance of 1:41.48 set by Zenyatta in winning the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes in 2008.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for Martin Garcia and his first in the San Diego. It was his 18th stakes win at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for Bob Baffert and his first in the San Diego. It was his 106th stakes win at Del Mar, the most of any trainer.
Fed Biz is owned by Kaleem Shah of San Diego and the partnership of Fed Biz, LLC.
Fleet Treat Stakes
KENT DESORMEAUX (Go West Marie, winner) – “That was a little hairy out there. She tried to make the gap (at the end of the seven-furlong chute). She had her mind set on getting there. Good thing I had full hold of her. She tried, but I was able to move her over a couple of paths and get it going in the right direction. She’s a tough little thing. When we went for home, I had that other filly (Wonderful Life) come up alongside and challenge. But I felt good. My filly had one ear pointing straight ahead to where we were going and the other one turned toward that other filly. As long as she had that other one measured, I knew we’d be all right.”
JOE TALAMO (Wonderful Life, second) – “That was some (good) horse race. I knew Kent (Desormeaux on Go West Marie) had a ton of horse. He never hit his horse. My filly tried hard, but just got outrun today.
MARTIN GARCIA (Grazenette, third) – “She ran OK. She’s better if we go two turns.”
EDDIE TRUMAN (Go West Marie, winner) -- “Yes, this is my first Del Mar stakes win. I’ve been coming here for 44 years. It feels fantastic. The main thing is to do it for (owner) Mr. (Peter) Redekop. He’s the one who steps up and takes the chance and he’s given me some very good horses. And it’s nice to have a world class rider like Kent Desormeaux -- that helps you relax. He came by this morning and said ‘You want to talk?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding, you’re riding her.’”
FRACTIONS: :22.87 :45.82 1:10.02 1:22.29
The stakes win was the second of the meet for Kent Desormeaux and his second in the Fleet Treat. He now has 64 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the first ever at Del Mar for trainer Eddie Truman. This is his 44th summer at the shore.
Peter Redekop is from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The winner was purchased privately this spring in New York from Funky Monkey Stable and David Donk.