01/15/2011 5:44PM

Santa Anita: Stakes win for Tapizar

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Tapizar won his stakes debut in Saturday's $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita with a convincing victory by 4 1-4 lengths. The win puts Tapizar among the leading 3-year-olds in California as the Triple Crown preps begins in earnest in coming months.

The winner of a maiden race at Churchill Downs by 10 1-2 lengths on Nov. 27, Tapizar was on or near the lead throughout the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, and finished 1 1-16 miles in a quick 1:40.38. Jockey Garrett Gomez had Tapizar behind Uncle Sam to the first turn, and took over on the backstretch. Tapizar set early fractions of 22.62 and 45.25 seconds. He reached six furlongs in 1:08.83 and a mile in 1:33.74, quick times throughout. In the final sixteenth, Tapizar led comfortably, allowing Gomez to put his stick away.

Clubhouse Ride, third in the $1 million Delta Jackpot and CashCall Futurity in the fall, finished second after racing in fourth early. He was followed by Anthony's Cross, Uncle Sam and Pride of Silver in the small field.

Tapizar, by Tapit, has won 2 of 5 starts for Winchell Thoroughbreds and trainer Steve Asmussen.