Impressive wire-to-wire Sham Stakes (G3) hero Tapizar tries
to make it two straight graded stakes tallies in Saturday's nine furlong Robert Lewis Stakes
(G2) at Santa Anita Park.
Tapizar was slow to develop. The son of Tapit, out of a Deputy Minister mare,
began his career with a 3rd place finish in the Monmouth slop last August. He
stumbled and lost his rider second time out and finished 4th behind fellow
Lewis entrant Anthony's Cross at Churchill Downs on Nov 4th.
Tapizar came to hand in his next start. He tracked the pace and drew off to graduate
by 10-1/2 lengths at Churchill on Nov 27th and was last seen cruising by 4-1/4
lengths in the aforementioned Sham, emphatically turning the tables on
Steve Asmussen’s talented colt looks like the controlling
speed on Saturday, especially since Comma To The Top is cross-entered in the El
Camino Real (G3) at Golden Gate fields and is expected to go in that spot.
Peter Miller’s speedy gelding is riding a 5-race win streak including a smart
score in the CashCall Futurity (G1) to wrap up his juvenile campaign.
[Is Tapizar the real deal? Can Comma to the Top overcome his sprint oriented pedigree? Log in
and rank your 2011 Kentucky Derby contenders!]
Anthony’s Cross is also cross-entered in the El Camino Real.
He adds blinkers and should move forward in his second start following a
layoff. Joel Rosario will ride if he opts for the Lewis.
Riveting Reason finished a close second to promising Baffert
trainee Awesome Patriot in a local bottom level allowance event on wet fast
ground in late December and it was more than nine lengths back to the show
finisher. He owns fine tactical speed and did hit the board in a pair of graded
events last year. He reunites with winning pilot Victor Espinoza and can
contend for a minor award.
Thirtyfirststreet is the lone California-bred entrant. The
improving colt has won two straight and ran against the speed bias in a
rallying extended sprint state bred stakes win at Santa Anita on opening day.
Patrick Valenzuela hops aboard for Doug O’Neill and the sprint-to-route runner
can spice up the exotics.
Ten Devils won his turf sprint debut at Hollywood Park
and exits back-to-back place finishes in local flat mile turf allowance races.
He tries dirt for the first time and will reportedly take back and make a late
run under regular pilot Joe Talamo.
Wegner switched to conventional dirt and pulled off an easy
wire job in a local flat mile special weight event on Jan 8th.
Rafael Bejarano and Bob Baffert are enjoying tremendous success at the current
meet but he will have to run much faster to stay with the likes of Tapizar.
Quail Hill completes the field. The David Hofmans runner
graduated in a local turf route last time. He has not run fast enough at this
stage to be competitive in a graded race.
Check out Jarrod Horak's 2011 Robert Lewis Stakes video analysis.