Can Anyone Catch Tapizar in Strub Stakes?

Tapizar takes the Sham

The ease of his 3 ½-length victory in the Grade II, $150,000 San Fernando Stakes on Jan. 14 is bound to make Tapizar a prohibitive favorite among eight entrants in the 65th Strub, a race that has been won by such historic notables as Spectacular Bid, Affirmed, Round Table, Alysheba and Silver Charm.


A leading Triple Crown candidate last year before being sidelined by a knee chip in February, the strapping son of Tapit returned in October. Tapizar’s third race back in the San Fernando at  1 1/16 miles in 1:41.94 demonstrated that he was ready to meet the elite among older horses.


Said jockey Corey Nakatani following the wire-to-wire win, “He ran a tremendous race today. With his athletic ability, he’s such an amazing horse. He’s a really big and muscular horse. He’s huge. And when you get him in that high cruising speed, he just seems to do it so easy.”


“He was unfortunate to get hurt,” Asmussen said. “We were very pleased with his race in the San Fernando. Hopefully we won’t get off track with him this year.” Owned and bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapizar comes into the Strub with earnings of $263,032 from 4 wins in 9 starts.


He will have to contend with Ultimate Eagle, a son of Mizzen Mast who will be making his first start on dirt after posting upset victories on grass last year in the Grade II Oak Tree Derby at odds of 34-1 and in the Grade I Hollywood Derby at 14-1. Trained by Michael Pender for B. J. Wright, Ultimate Eagle is ridden by Martin Pedroza. The bay colt has won 4 of 8 starts while earning $347,800.


Baffert entered a pair of 4-year-olds for Zayat Stables, millionaire Prayer for Relief and comebacking Jaycito. Prayer for Relief, who last year captured the Grade III Iowa Derby, Grade II West Virginia Derby and Grade II Super Derby, finished third, 3 ½ lengths behind Tapizar in the San Fernando. Regular pilot Bejarano rides Prayer for Relief, whose 5-1-2 record in 11 starts has netted $1,033,225.


Jaycito has been on the shelf with reported foot and throat ailments since August of last year. An erratic son of Victory Gallop, Jaycito had shown signs of brilliance during his 2-year-old season. He won the Grade I Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park after rallying for second during a troubled run in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity.


Sent off at 5-1 odds in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in 2010, Jaycito experienced a nightmare trip when steadying early before swerving out past the middle of the track entering the backstretch. After falling 15 lengths behind the ninth horse in a field of 10, he wound up seventh behind victorious Uncle Mo.


With Martin Garcia set to ride, Jaycito will be faced with a difficult assignment upon returning in an event like the Strub. With a single victory and three second-place finishes in his six-race career, the $110,000 sales purchase has earned $261,300.


The complete field for the Strub Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Jaycito, Garcia, 118; Prayer for Relief, Bejarano, 123; Beer Meister, Glenn Corbett, 118; Ultimate Eagle, Martin Pedroza, 123; Clubhouse Ride, Espinoza, 118; Indian Winter, Rosario, 118; Tapizar, Nakatani, 123, and Balladry, Talamo, 118.



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Older Comments about Can Anyone Catch Tapizar in Strub Stakes? ...

Jaycito!!!! will catch Tapizar.... jaycito has worked impressively in preparation for this race...

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