01/08/2013 2:52PM

Santa Anita: Tritap gets second chance to prove his worth

Tom Keyser
Tritap is being pointed to Saturday's Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita.

After winning 2 of 4 starts in 2012, Tritap may have a 2013 season that has long been expected from the expensive colt.

Purchased for $450,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, Tritap makes his second start in a graded stakes in Saturday’s $150,000 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. For Tritap, the Grade 2 San Fernando is an opportunity for his second consecutive win, following an allowance race over 1 3/16 miles at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17.

“He’s been on the cusp of this level,” trainer Steve Asmussen said Tuesday. “I’m hoping his r ésumé looks better after the race than before.”

Owned by Ron Winchell, Tritap was sixth as a 22-1 outsider in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 6. Asmussen said the race left him “a little disappointed.” In his next start, Tritap won the Churchill Downs allowance race.

“He rebounded off that loss,” Asmussen said. “He’s trained really well.”

A winner of 2 of 7 starts, Tritap will be part of a field in the San Fernando that lacks a standout. The race is for 4-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles and is expected to include Castaway, Drill, Fly Lexis Fly, Handsome Mike, and Regulus.

Bob Baffert trains Castaway and Drill. He indicated Tuesday that a decision on their participation was to be made Wednesday, when entries are taken. Baffert trains seven of the 17 nominees.

Handsome Mike won the Pennsylvania Derby in September, but was ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic here in November.

Tuesday, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was debating whether to start Blueskiesnrainbows or Tribal Jewel.

Blueskiesnrainbows, winner of the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park last July, joined Hollendorfer’s barn in December, having been previously trained by Baffert. A winner of 3 of 10 starts, Blueskiesnrainbows was fifth in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 1.

Tribal Jewel won an allowance race over a mile on the Dec. 26 opening-day program. A gelding, Tribal Jewel also is being considered for the $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes for California-breds over 1 1/8 miles on turf Jan. 26.