10/03/2012 4:22PM

Hoosier Park: Fed Biz tops deep Indiana Derby lineup

Benoit & Associates
Fed Biz is shipping to Hoosier Park for Saturday's Grade 2 Indiana Derby.

Really good horses have run in the Indiana Derby before. Lookin At Lucky won the race in 2010. Brass Hat captured the 2004 edition. And way back in 2002, Perfect Drift took top honors. But it’s highly unlikely that as many good horses have run in the same Indiana Derby as will contest the 19th edition of the race Saturday afternoon at Hoosier Park.

The field of 12 entered Wednesday for the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby includes many of the most talented members of the 3-year-old class still in steady training. Fed Biz, whose talent has long been lauded by trainer Bob Baffert, drew well in post 4 and makes his graded stakes debut under Rafael Bejarano, but he faces formidable challengers.

Bourbon Courage (post 8) won the Grade 2 Super Derby by five lengths Sept. 8 in his most recent start and second try around two turns. Leading Hoosier rider Leandro Goncalves, aboard for the Super Derby win, has a return call. Neck ’n Neck fared poorly at Wednesday’s draw, landing post 11, but won the Matt Winn and finished second in the Jim Dandy earlier this summer. Stealcase (post 9) was third in the Grade 1 Haskell before finishing seventh in the Travers, but he rebounded from that performance to win the Sept. 16 Ontatrio Derby. Easter Gift, who drew the rail, exits a career-best performance winning the Grade 2 Smarty Jones on Sept. 3 at Parx Racing, while O’Prado Again (post 5) won the Grade 2 Remsen over the likes of El Padrino when last seen at the races in November.

[INDIANA DERBY: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live]

The improving Tritap (post 6) was second in an older-horse Saratoga allowance race Sept. 2 and is trained by Steve Asmussen, who won the 2011 Indiana Derby with Wilburn. Second City was a visually impressive winner of the British Colombia Derby on Sept. 9. He breaks from post 10 with Kentucky Derby-winning rider Mario Gutierrez named. Morgan’s Guerrilla, Junebugred, Afford, and Adirondack King complete the field.

In Edens Moon, Baffert also has a key player for the Grade 2, $200,000 Indiana Oaks, but Grace Hall could be favored here. Grace Hall clunked home a distant fifth in the Alabama Stakes on Aug. 18, but had previously won multiple graded stakes and finished third in the Kentucky Oaks, a race in which Edens Moon was 14th. Wine Princess, a daughter of champion Azeri who comfortably won the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks in her most recent appearance, also merits respect.

David Robinson More than 1 year ago
and its about to start people............... the legend that will grow with every passing race, known as FED BIZ!!!!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
In the who's your State who goes down as Trainer of Record?
Pale Rider More than 1 year ago
Baffert isn't afraid to ship his horses and follow the money. That allows a lot of tracks to see some quality horses and some good racing. It takes good assistant trainers to travel with the horses and obtain good results.
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
You have to be impressed with Fed Biz for the way he ran in The El Cajon (at Del Mar) off of a six month layoff...103 beyer! He looks tough really tough to beat in the Indiana Derby as well...If for some reason he doesn't make the transition from polytrack to dirt,or is just not on his game,Easter Gift will be in the winner's circle!
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Easter Gift will be part of my Ex. b. I don't think FB will win,but have to put him in there as a backup
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
Ange More than 1 year ago
And hopefully the starting gate tractor is working properly? And the outriders have been reprimanded for not stopping that race last week when the gate couldn't be moved? Damn lucky nobody died or was seriously injured that day... Not to mention your race caller, more worried about bettors' tickets than the horses & riders out on the track.