Future plans were on hold Sunday morning for Triple Crown candidate TAPIZAR (Tapit), who finished fifth as the 1-5 favorite in Saturday's Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) at Santa Anita after being extremely rank early.
"We had quite a few workers this morning, and I was going to wait and get him out after we got everything done, and then I was going to call (owner) Ron Winchell and David Fiske (Winchell's racing manager) and talk to them," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "I didn't want to be disrespectful to them and make any statements before I talk to them." (Photo courtesy of Benoit)
Tapizar was the heavy favorite in the nine-furlong test following his 4 1/4-length victory in the January 15 Sham S. (G3). The bay broke his maiden by 10 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs in late November.
While Tapizar was upset at Santa Anita, the Asmussen-trained SILVER MEDALLION (Badge of Silver) provided an upset of his own as the impressive winner of the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields. Asmussen also sent out fellow three-year-old and heavy 1-2 favorite ALBERGATTI (Unbridled's Song) to break his maiden in the 3RD race at Santa Anita.
"It was a rollercoaster day," Asmussen admitted. "I'm very pleased with Albergatti, very pleased with Silver Medallion and very disappointed with Tapizar. You're never as wrong as when you're sure. This is why they let you bet on it."
Asmussen added that Silver Medallion was set to be vanned back to Santa Anita Sunday morning, where he will resume training.
"If he leaves there (Golden Gate) at 10 o'clock (PST) this morning, he'll be in here this afternoon," Asmussen said. "We'll train him back here. He's a very exciting horse in the fact that he ran great on the turf (winning the Eddie Logan S. at Santa Anita on December 31), he ran great on synthetic (winning the El Camino Real on Tapeta) and he trains super on dirt, so we have a lot of options there.
"The most exciting thing about him yesterday was, I didn't think he had the smoothest of trips, and he stayed. He came home well at a mile and an eighth and I thought it was really good."