09/01/2012 4:12PM

Del Mar notes: Fed Biz sets sights on late-season derbies

Benoit & Associates
Fed Biz (foreground) comes back to defeat Jimmy Creed in Friday’s $100,000 El Cajon Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s record-setting 100th career stakes win at Del Mar was accomplished Friday with a 3-year-old colt who may have a major role in lucrative late-season derbies.

Fed Biz won a thrilling running of the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile, fighting back through the stretch to catch Jimmy Creed in the final strides.

Saturday, Baffert said he would consider Fed Biz for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing on Sept. 22 or the $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 6.

“There are some options,” Baffert said. “I wanted to give him an easy race. He ran hard.”

Baffert, 59, began the meeting with 93 stakes wins and became the first trainer in track history to reach 100 stakes wins. Fellow Hall of Famer Ron McAnally is second on the list with 75 stakes wins.

“Del Mar has been a special place,” Baffert said in the winner’s circle. “I claimed my first horse here. It started at Del Mar for me.”

Fed Biz ($4.60) led or disputed throughout the one-mile El Cajon Stakes, edging Jimmy Creed after a stretch-long duel. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Fed Biz led by a head with quarter-mile remaining, but trailed by that margin with a furlong to go.

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Racing on the inside, Fed Biz slowly caught Jimmy Creed to take the lead in the final 30 yards. Owned by Kaleem Shah, Fed Biz, a colt by Giant’s Causeway, ran a mile in 1:35.58. Jimmy Creed finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Unusual Heatwave in the field of five.

Fed Biz, purchased for $950,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, has won 3 of 4 starts and $131,100. The El Cajon Stakes was his first start since a win in an optional claimer at Santa Anita in February. At the time, he was considered a candidate for the Triple Crown.

Baffert said no major injuries were detected but that Fed Biz suffered from muscle problems in late winter.

Rolling Fog steps up for Futurity

Wednesday, Baffert starts the maiden winner Rolling Fog in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, the top race on the closing day of the meeting.

Baffert has won the Del Mar Futurity a record 10 times.

Rolling Fog won his only start Aug. 4, pulling away in deep stretch to win a race over 5 1/2 furlongs by 2 1/4 lengths. Baffert thinks that Rolling Fog will be more effective this fall, when racing returns to a dirt surface at Santa Anita.

“Before we came down here, I thought he was more effective on dirt,” he said.

The Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity is led by Know More, winner of the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 5 in his career debut. Know More is owned by Paul Reddam, who purchased the Lion Heart colt for $210,000 at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Zafeen’s Pearl to Catalano

Zafeen’s Pearl, who finished third in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in June, has been transferred to Wayne Catalano at Arlington Park, trainer Tim Yakteen said.

Zafeen’s Pearl was under consideration for the Adoration Stakes on Sunday before leaving Thursday. Earlier this summer, Zafeen’s Pearl won an optional claimer here and was sixth in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes on Aug. 4.

Zafeen’s Pearl, 5, races for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.

◗ Friday is the opening day of the Los Angeles County Fair meeting at Fairplex Park in Pomona. The opening-day feature is the $50,000 Beverly Lewis Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs. The track will conduct racing from Friday through Sept. 23.