01/20/2007 12:00AM

Tiz Wonderful out of Derby picture

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NEW ORLEANS - Tiz Wonderful is unlikely to run in the Kentucky Derby after suffering a minor tendon injury that will sideline him indefinitely, trainer Steve Asmussen said Saturday.

"He rapped his right fore, and we're going to give him some time off. How much, I don't know," said Asmussen. "Right now, we're just going to walk the shedrow with him for a while until hopefully everything gets better."

Asmussen indicated that Tiz Wonderful would probably not be ready to run in the Kentucky Derby.

"I doubt it," he said. "It's such a critical time when we need to do more. To be doing less, for every practical reason, he would be out of the Derby."

Tiz Wonderful, undefeated in three starts, was one of the winter book favorites for the Kentucky Derby after he won his maiden by 12 lengths at Saratoga, then won the Grade 3 Iroquois and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at the Churchill Downs fall meet. The 101 Beyer Speed Figure he earned in the KJC was the fourth-highest by a 2-year-old last year.

"He's an amazing horse," said Asmussen. "Three races, three wins. He's very fast and he has a lot of talent."

Tiz Wonderful was in training at Asmussen's barn on the Fair Grounds backstretch when he suffered the injury. He had been considered a possible starter in the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 10 at Fair Grounds.

A son of Tiznow, Tiz Wonderful earned $228,792 for owner Jess Jackson as a 2-year-old.

Asmussen still has several horses in his barn who are potential Triple Crown runners. The leading candidate is Zanjero, who is expected to run in the Risen Star.