02/15/2011 4:23PM

Tapizar injured, off Kentucky Derby trail

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Benoit & Associates
Tapizar, Garrett Gomez up, wins the Sham

ARCADIA, Calif. - Tapizar, one of the top 3-year-olds in California this year, has been diagnosed with a bone chip in a knee and is off the Kentucky Derby trail, trainer Steve Asmussen said on Tuesday.

Tapizar will be sent to Kentucky, where noted veterinarian Larry Bramlage will conduct the surgery. Tapizar was still in California on Tuesday. Asmussen did not give a time frame of how long Tapizar would be out of training.

"It's very, very disappointing," he said. "I feel bad for everybody involved."

Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapizar won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes over 1 1/16 miles by 4 1/4 lengths on Jan. 15, but was fifth as the 3-10 favorite in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita last Saturday.

KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail

Tapizar led by as many as 2 1/2 lengths in the first half of the Lewis, but faded through the final furlong to finish 6 1/4 lengths behind the race's winner, Anthony's Cross.

A colt by Tapit, Tapizar has won 2 of 6 starts and $110,632. He won his maiden race in his fourth start, by 10 1/4 lengths, at Churchill Downs in November, and won the Sham Stakes in his following appearance.

Even with Tapizar's absence, Asmussen still has two prominent 3-year-olds based in California: Astrology and Silver Medallion.

Astrology won the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes and was second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs last fall. He has been working steadily in recent weeks. Silver Medallion has won two stakes in California this winter -- the Eddie Logan Stakes on turf on Dec. 31 and the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields last Saturday.