02/12/2013 3:16PM

Oaklawn Park: Baffert sending in Super Ninety Nine for Southwest Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Super Ninety Nine worked a half-mile at Santa Anita in 47.60 seconds Tuesday. He is scheduled to ship to Oaklawn Park on Thursday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Trainer Bob Baffert, who last year swept Oaklawn’s graded series for 3-year-olds, said Super Ninety Nine is scheduled to ship to Arkansas for Monday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest. The horse breezed a half-mile in 47.60 seconds at Santa Anita on Tuesday and is due to arrive Thursday aboard at Tex Sutton flight from Southern California.

The Southwest is the highlight of an extended, five-day race week at Oaklawn. Tiz Miz Sue is scheduled to make her seasonal debut in the $100,000 Bayakoa on Saturday in what is a prep for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom, while fillies and mares will sprint Sunday in the $60,000 Spring Fever.

Super Ninety Nine will enter the Southwest off a razor-sharp allowance win at Santa Anita on Jan. 31. The 3 1/4-length victory under Rafael Bejarano was Super Ninety Nine’s first start at two turns. Bejarano has the mount Monday, Baffert said.

“It’s a little bit quick back, but he’s a heavy horse and looks like he can handle it,” said Baffert, who trains Super Ninety Nine for Tanma Corporation.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Baffert invaded Oaklawn for its 3-year-old series last year and won the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister, the Grade  2, $500,000 Rebel with Secret Circle, and both $250,000 divisions of the Southwest, with Secret Circle and Castaway.

The Southwest was run over a mile last year, but this year it has been lengthened to 1 1/16 miles. The race is worth 10 points to the winner on the new system governing Kentucky Derby eligibility if the May 4 classic is oversubscribed. A second in the Southwest is worth four points, followed by two for third and one for fourth.

Other shippers for the Southwest include Always in a Tiz, who last week arrived from Gulfstream Park. He breezed at Oaklawn on Monday, under Carl Allsop, assistant to trainer Dominick Schettino. Always in a Tiz went five furlongs in 1:02.20.

“He breezed super,” said Anthony Bonomo Jr., general manager for owners MeB Racing Stables and Brooklyn Boyz Racing Stables. “He went from the half-mile pole to the seven-eighths pole for more of a stretch run. He did great. He did it very easy.”

Bonomo said Robby Albarado has the mount on Always in a Tiz. The horse was beaten a neck as the favorite in last month’s $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn, finishing third in the one-mile race that ended at the sixteenth pole and then galloping out strongly.

Will Take Charge, who won the race, and Texas Bling, who was second, are both scheduled to run back in the Southwest.

Brown Almighty, who was fifth in the Smarty Jones, is being pointed to the Southwest, trainer Tim Ice said. Terry Thompson has the mount.

Tour Guide, who had been under consideration for the Southwest after winning his second straight sprint stakes late last month at Sam Houston, will not go, trainer Bret Calhoun said Tuesday.

“Tour Guide is resting,” he said. “He came up with a little shin problem. He’s walking for 30 days.”

Tour Guide also won the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds in December.