Winchell Thoroughbreds’ homebred Tapizar, one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been taken off the Triple Crown trail after a chip was discovered in his left knee following his disappointing fifth-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) as the odds-on favorite Feb. 12 at Santa Anita.
“The chip was discovered on Sunday,” said David Fiske, racing manager and farm manager for the Winchell family. “We shot some film on Sunday and got the results back that afternoon, then forwarded the results on to Dr. (Larry) Bramlage at Rood & Riddle. We consulted with him and came up with a plan.”
Fiske said Tapizar, who is trained by Steve Asmussen, will fly to Lexington on Feb. 22 to have the chip removed.
“We haven’t heard when the appointment will be for the surgery, but it’ll be as soon as possible after he gets off the plane,” Fiske said.
“He wasn’t acting like himself before and during the race for whatever reason. Fortunately, the prognosis is pretty good for his return.”
Tapizar burst on the scene with a 10 3/4-length maiden win at Churchill Downs, running more than a full second faster than the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) winner the same day.
The son of Tapit–Winning Call, by Deputy Minister, then shipped to Santa Anita where he won the grade III Sham Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths, and his time for the 1 1/16 miles was more than a full second faster than the San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) for older horses the same day.
In the Lewis he was extremely rank early, throwing his head around and fighting jockey Garrett Gomez. He was still battling for the lead at the eighth pole, but tired badly late.