02/04/2004 1:00AM

Tapit to miss Risen Star


Tapit, one of the early darlings of the Triple Crown trail, will not make his planned start in the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds. Tapit missed a recent scheduled workout at the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida, and is suffering from a sore shin, according to David Fiske, racing manager for Tapit's owner, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC.

"We got backed up with the weather over the weekend," Fiske said of a rainy weekend in Florida. "He had a shin that was bothering him a little, too. We took a radiograph of it, and it looked a little different than it did when we saw it last November. We're going to give it a week or two to see if it will settle down."

Tapit, a Pulpit colt trained by Michael Dickinson, has won his first two starts, including an impressive victory in the Laurel Futurity.

Fiske said Tapit would continue training regularly at Palm Meadows, but that he wouldn't breeze before the shin improved.

If the shin improves as hoped, Tapit could make his 2004 debut in either the Florida Derby or the Louisiana Derby, Fiske said.