Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Melissa Bauer-Herzog, America's Best Racing
It was a one horse affair on President’s Day when Super Ninety Nine drew off by 11 1/4 lengths to win the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn in a time of 1:44.84.
The 3-year-old son of Pulpit skipped across the sloppy track, shooting to the front out of the gate with Fear the Kitten. However, it didn’t take Super Ninety Nine long to take charge, holding about a length advantage over Heaven’s Runway down the backstretch. As the rain picked up, so did the chestnut, allowing Big Lute to get within about a neck of him before again drawing away by a length.
Without looking like it cost him any extra effort, Super Ninety Nine added to his lead around the turn before taking off in the stretch to win impressively. Fear the Kitten finished second with Heaven’s Runway and Channel Isle rounding out the top four.
The win allowed Super Ninety Nine to earn his first 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby (G1). The Southwest Stakes was the final race in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Prep Season, the first segment in a three segment series used to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
For an explanation of the Kentucky Derby points system and to follow all of the action on the 2013 Triple Crown Trail, click here.
Super Ninety Nine went off at even money odds for jockey Rafael Bejarano and trainer Bob Baffert. The pair teamed up to win both divisions of the race last year when it was split due to the amount of entries. The win was the third in five starts for Super Ninety Nine, who was sold for $200,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale before selling for $260,000 at the 2012 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. June 2-year-olds and horses of racing age sale.
Super Ninety Nine in owned by Tanma Corporation and was bred in Kentucky by Northwest Farms LLC. By Pulpit, winner of the 1997 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2), Super Ninety Nine is out of the mare Exogenetic and is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Elusive Horizon. He is from the family of champion 2-year-old filly Countess Diana.
Super Ninety Nine paid $4.00 to win for a $2 ticket.
For an Equibase chart of the race, click here.
SUPER NINETY NINE CRUISES IN SOUTHWEST
Photo courtesy of Coady Photography