01/26/2011 3:41PM

Tapizar points to Santa Anita's Robert Lewis Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Tapizar, winner of the Sham Stakes, is targeting the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Tapizar, winner of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in his stakes debut at Santa Anita on Jan. 15, will make his next start in the $250,000 Robert Lewis Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 12, trainer Steve Asmussen said Wednesday.

Tapizar won the Sham Stakes over 1 1/16 miles by 4 1/4 lengths, leading throughout. Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapizar won a maiden race at Churchill Downs by 10 1/2 lengths on Nov. 27, his fourth career start.

Asmussen said the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes is an attractive option because clear weather is forecast in Southern California for the next 10 days, allowing for uninterrupted training. Tapizar breezed a half-mile in 50.40 seconds on Monday, his first workout since Sham Stakes.

“You don’t want to stop and wait when the forecast looks smooth,” Asmussen said. “I loved his work and the way he’s doing.”

Asmussen, who has horses in Southern California for the first time this winter, said that City Cool, runner-up in the San Pedro Stakes on Jan. 17, will return for the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs on Feb. 10. City Cool won the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park on Dec. 28 in his stakes debut.

There are no immediate race plans for Thiskyhasnolimit, who finished fourth in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes on Jan. 25. Asmussen said that Thiskyhasnolimit emerged from that race with a bruised foot.

“We’ve had to back off,” he said.

The Robert Lewis Stakes is a vital prep for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. The Lewis also is expected to include Sham runner-up Clubhouse Ride, who worked five furlongs in 58.80 on Wednesday, the third fastest of 31 recorded works at the distance.

On Tuesday at Hollywood Park, Comma to the Top worked six furlongs in 1:10.40. Comma to the Top won three stakes at Hollywood Park last fall, including the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity. Trainer Peter Miller said Wednesday that the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 12 remains a goal but that the Lewis has not been eliminated from the list of potential races.

“We’re still leaning toward the El Camino, but we’ll nominate to both races and keep our options open,” he said. “He’s got two more works to go.”