02/12/2013 4:16PM

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.

redboy More than 1 year ago
This race is a wrap. S99 win this going away. Put a 100 to win on the derby future wager ,47 to 1 4700 to the bank
Joseph More than 1 year ago
Time off to grow; this makes no sense to me. Back in the day horses were trained and prepped over months and numerous races building them up and developing their strngths. Yes, there were Butchers like Zito and Lukas. But today, the are drug dealers who build these horses up on drugs, lightly run them and then expect them tpo perform at distances and in circumstances they have not been trained for, leading to them breaking down.
Carl Napolitana More than 1 year ago
ARE YOU SERIOUS. If you are god help you.
Eric More than 1 year ago
He looks like a BEAST in this photo!!
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I know the water is getting deeper, but I still believe in Texas Bling in the Southwest Stake. He's a gorgeous looking horse,happy with a very nice attitude,handled by a gracious and capable trainer Danele Durham
jttf More than 1 year ago
it looks like the point system has already had an effect on the size of fields for the 10 january and february prep races. last year there were 61 starters in the first 7 prep races that are included the point system. this year there have been 54. last year's southwest stakes had 21 starters in a split division. i doubt there will be half as many this year. trainers are being more patient and are waiting for the 50 point stakes races. that is a good sign to let the youngsters have time off to grow.
Mine thatbird More than 1 year ago
If you go back 2 years there were 49 horses in what are now the first 7 prep races for the KD. I doubt there is any statistical significance in field size, as of now, between the the point system and G stakes system. Obviously, you need more than an n of 1 for the points system to make any conclusions. I do agree that the trainers are waiting for the 50 and 100 point races but that is probably because those are more or less win and your in type races. I think in the long run the current point system will hurt a race like the southwest because it is the last of the 10 point dirt races. If you have a good charge why not wait a week and run in the Risen Star? It has a larger purse and probably gets you in the Derby with 50 points. This is why I don't understand Baffert running Super Ninety Nine. He even says "it's a little quick back...". Why run in it then and force yourself into a must place situation in your next race to make the starting gates?
jttf More than 1 year ago
the sham only had 5 horses and the lewis only had 4. there has got to be a lot of horses out west, waiting in the weeds for next months 50 point races. baffert has so many horses that he is forced to put one the southwest. he only won 2 southwest stakes last year. picking up 4 to 10 points here, will make it easier to qualify. i think trainers next year will schedule even less horses in 10 point stakes races. it is a learning process. the 50 point races goal is to finish in the top 2 and 100 point races goal is to finish in the top 3. if your horse cant finish in the money, they dont deserve to be in the derby.
Real M More than 1 year ago
Good to see RB keeping the mount on S99. He seems to really know this horse. Shaping up to be a lackluster field if it is the Smarty Jones survivors squad rounding out the field. S99 may toy with them - if he does he won't be at 47-1 in pool 2. .
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Should be a gd w/e of racing. Hope they get gd weather!
jttf More than 1 year ago
he went by appealing tale easily. thanks bob for only one 6f work. unbridled's song says use caution.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Unbridled's Song IS the damsire, but Pulpit is the sire and, of course, he is by Belmont and BC Classic winner A P Indy. Makes for an interesting prospect - no?
jttf More than 1 year ago
his breeding is similar to general quarters, who improved with the more distance covered. he should improve on dirt tracks with more cushion. 47 to 1 was too hard to pass up. just afraid that he is more suspect to get injured than others. 3 unbridled song dam sired horses on the derby trail, have been sidelined in the last 3 years.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Always in a Tiz winner
John More than 1 year ago
This horse won powerfully !....................and he was never asked , just raw talent !