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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Tapizar Expected to Be Heavy Favorite

2/9/2011

It's just a question of how much Tapizar, widely regarded as the West Coast’s best 3-year-old, will be favored in Saturday's Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes. The Lewis, run as the Santa Catalina Stakes prior to 2007, has produced five of the last 16 winners of the Santa Anita Derby.

Trainer Steve Asmussen, who had never competed at Santa Anita on a large scale before this year, watched Tapizar evolve into his premier 3-year-old with a convincing 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade III Sham Stakes on Jan. 15 at Santa Anita.

“I’m blessed to have him,” said Asmussen, a winner of 504 races last year. “He’s a tremendously talented horse.” Bob Baffert, a winner of three runnings of the Kentucky Derby, also is impressed. “Tapizar, he’s the best thing I’ve seen – he and Uncle Mo,” Baffert told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “That horse is pretty serious.”

Garrett Gomez, aboard in the Sham, returns on Tapizar, who comes into the Lewis with earnings of $105,632 from four starts, all route races, for Winchell Thoroughbreds. It took three races before the son of hot young stallion Tapit broke his maiden by 10 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs last Nov. 27. One of his earlier races was marred when Tapizar tossed his rider and tore a chunk of flesh from a foot.

None of Tapizar’s potential opponents appear to be of his caliber, but that's why they run the race. Grade I winner Comma to the Top was entered by trainer Peter Miller, but only as a contingency measure. The 123-pound highweight is expected to run instead in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate on Saturday.

Of the others, Anthony’s Cross finished a distant third in the Sham. Riveting Reason ran third in both the Grade I Norfolk Stakes and Grade I Del Mar Futurity last year, but in eight career starts, his lone victory was his maiden breaker on Nov. 25 at Hollywood Park.

Thirtyfirststreet was victorious in the ungraded California Breeders’ Champion Stakes last December. Ten Devils was second in the ungraded Eddie Logan Stakes in December. Quail Hill and Wegner are maiden winners.


--Edited from Santa Anita release


Saturday, Race 6
Grade II Robeth B. Lewis Stakes
Santa Anita
Purse: $250,000
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile
Surface: Synthetic
Post Time: 6:05 ET

Post
Horse
   ML Jockey
Wt
S
M
Trainer
1
Wegner (KY)
   10-1 R. Bejarano
118
C
L
B. Baffert
2
Anthony's Cross (PA)
   6-1 J. Rosario
118
C
L
E. Harty
3
Comma to the Top (FL)
   5-2 C. Nakatani
123
G
L
P. Miller
4
Tapizar (kY)
   4-5 G. Gomez
120
C
L
S. Asmussen
5
Ten Devils (KY)
   6-1 J. Talamo
118
C
L
R. Mandella
6
Riveting Reason (KY)
   4-1 V. Espinoza
118
C
L
M. Cho
7
Quail Hill (KY)
   20-1 M. Pedroza
118
C
L
D. Hofmans
8
Thirtyfirststreet (CA)
   10-1 P. Valenzuela
118
C
L
D. O'Neill

2 - Anthony's Cross - Blinkers On
6 - Riveting Reason - Blinkers off

Owners: 1 - Alexander & Shustek; 2 - A D K Racing; 3 - Barber, Birnbaum & Tsujihara; 4 - Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC; 5 - Diamond A Racing Corp.; 6 - M. K. Cho Stables, LLC; 7 - Tarabilla Farms, Inc.; 8 - Gorman or Haymes or Sterling Stables

Breeders: 1 - Three Chimneys Farm, LLC & River BendFarm, Inc.; 2 - George Strawbridge Jr.; 3 - Richard Thompso& Linda Thompson; 4 - Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; 5 - Diamond A Racing Corp.; 6 - Adena Springs; 7 - Connie Snyder & Richard Snyder; 8 - Doug O'Neill & Mark Gorman

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