Bob Baffert's highly-regarded Fed Biz has been ruled out of Kentucky Derby consideration, the Hall of Fame trainer revealed to Daily Racing Form Monday.
A smashing allowance/optional claiming winner at Santa Anita on February 9, Fed Biz was expected to make his stakes debut in last Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes, but was forced to skip the race with what was believed to be a minor setback.
Baffert had hoped that the Giant's Causeway colt would be able to regroup in time for a major Derby prep on April 7, either the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby or possibly the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
By Monday, however, he was still not happy with how Fed Biz was training, and opted to call a halt.
"I took him back to the track, and he's still not comfortable," Baffert told DRF. "I'm going to stop on him. He's got a hind-end issue. We can't find it, but something's nagging him. I'm going to give him some time off."
Baffert has a few other Derby hopefuls to rely on. Bodemeister ran a bang-up second to Creative Cause in the San Felipe, with Grade 1 CashCall Futurity victor Liaison a decent fourth.
Secret Circle, the winner of the second division of the Grade 3 Southwest, figures to get a greater two-turn test in Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn. Castaway, who romped in the first Southwest division, could head for the Grade 3 Sunland Derby on March 25. Impressive maiden winners Stirred Up and Paynter are also to join the hunt for graded earnings.