The Bob Baffert-trained Fed Biz, pegged at 20-1 in Pool 1 of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager that opens Friday, will likely see those odds drop after his tour de force performance in Thursday's 2ND race at Santa Anita.
"This is my Derby horse, buddy," winning rider Rafael Bejarano exclaimed on his way into the winner's circle.
A $950,000 sales purchase by Kaleem Shah, Fed Biz was coming off a maiden win over this same one-mile trip at Santa Anita. The royally-bred son of Giant's Causeway was accordingly bet down to 3-5 favoritism in Thursday's entry-level allowance/optional claimer.
Only four rivals dared to take him on, including 7 1/4-length maiden romper Consulado, who went off as the 7-5 second choice. Consulado flashed speed in this two-turn debut, but Fed Biz was poised ominously off his flank through splits of :21 4/5 and :45 2/5 on the fast track.
The two left the rest of the field behind rounding the far turn. Fed Biz was lapped onto the leader through six furlongs in 1:10, and appeared ready to blow the race open straightening for home.
The odds-on favorite showed some inexperience as he stuck to his left lead, and Bejarano kept cajoling him to switch to his right lead. The talented colt also lugged in, yet despite his greenness, didn't lose much momentum.
Surging past Consulado at the head of the lane, Fed Biz widened his margin to 5 3/4 lengths and won as his rider pleased in a final time of 1:34 3/5.
He repeated that race, and he's going to improve a lot more," Bejarano said, alluding to his defeat of next-out winner Zackn'mat in his maiden score on December 30.
"Today, he was more comfortable and he showed me more kick in the stretch. He won very easy. I had so much horse to stay close (to the pace). I knew the time was kind of fast, but I had so much horse, he was just galloping."
"He's still a little green," Baffert said. "When he hit the top of the stretch, he had his ears up and he didn't switch leads until real late. I'm glad I got a race into him. That's part of the process. You know he has the pedigree, and he has a lot of just natural talent."
Fed Biz, who has now earned $71,100 from his 3-2-0-0 record, paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Consulado was himself 6 1/2 lengths clear of third-placer Blueskiesnrainbows, trailed by Tones and Super Candy in the strung-out field.
Baffert has not settled on the next target for Fed Biz on the Derby trail.
"It's a long way to go," commented the Hall of Fame trainer, who has saddled nine classic winners.