Sham Stakes (G3) winner TAPIZAR (Tapit), a tiring fifth as the odds-on choice in last Saturday's Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) at Santa Anita, has been removed from Kentucky Derby (G1) contention after being diagnosed with a bone chip in his knee. Trainer Steve Asmussen revealed the news to Daily Racing Form on Tuesday.
"It's very, very disappointing," Asmussen said. "I feel bad for everybody involved."
Asmussen said Tapizar would be sent to Kentucky where surgery to remove the chip would be performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage.
A homebred raced by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapizar broke his maiden in his juvenile finale at Churchill Downs by 10 1/2 lengths. He made his seasonal debut in the January 15 Sham, scoring an emphatic win by 4 1/4 lengths under Garrett Gomez. However, the bay was rank from the start in the Lewis and ultimately ran out of steam passing the quarter pole in the nine-furlong event.
Tapizar possesses a mark of 6-2-0-1, $110,632.