02/18/2013 8:34PM

Oaklawn: Super Ninety Nine's romp gives Baffert another Southwest win

Coady Photography/Oaklawn
Super Ninety Nine, with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, leaves his rivals behind in the Southwest over Oaklawn's sloppy track.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Super Ninety Nine continued the grip his trainer, Bob Baffert, has had on the 3-year-old stakes program at Oaklawn on Monday, when he took quick command of  the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest and went on to an 11 1/4-length victory over Fear the Kitten. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Heaven's Runway in third.

Baffert swept Oaklawn's graded series for 3-year-olds last year, when he won both divisions of the Southwest with Secret Circle and Castaway, the Rebel with Secret Circle, and the Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister. The Southwest win Monday was his fourth score in the race, as he also won in 2010 with Conveyance.

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

Oaklawn's track was downgraded to sloppy for the Southwest after heavy rains hit, and Super Ninety Nine went right to the front at the start as he and jockey Rafael Bejarano doled out fractions of 23.33 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.49 for the half-mile and 1:12.29 for six furlongs. He began to open up on the field at the top of the stretch and was in hand nearing the wire, to cover the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.84.

"The track was to our advantage with the speed and all," Baffert said. "I'm just glad it worked out. It was exciting."

Bejarano was aboard Super Ninety Nine ($4) for Tanma Corporation, one start after he won first-level allowance with the horse at Santa Anita. In the allowance, his two-turn debut, Super Ninety Nine tracked the pace, and won by four lengths with a Beyer Speed Figure of 100.

"My horse showed me a little more speed this time," said Bejarano. "I decided to keep him on the lead. It was a pretty good race for him."

Baffert said plans are to be determined for Super Ninety Nine, but he will look at the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn on April 13.

The Southwest win was worth 10 points to Super Ninety Nine on the new Kentucky Derby system governing preference if the race is oversubscribed.

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

Bejarano has also been on a tear at Oaklawn, as he won both divisions of last year's Southwest, and also took the Rebel.

"Mr. Baffert always brings good horses," said the Southern California-based rider. "You always have a really good chance."

The remaining order of finish was Channel Isle in fourth, followed by Always in a Tiz, Will Take Charge, Big Lute, Brown Almighty, Texas Bling, and Officer Alex.

** The pick six paid $558,553 on a $1 ticket. There was one winning ticket, sold to an XpressBet account-holder, according to Bobby Geiger, an official with Oaklawn. The carryover into Monday's card was more than $300,000, and another $400,000 was bet into the pool Monday.

** Attendance at the track was a season-high 25,854.


Mark More than 1 year ago
Mark More than 1 year ago
Forest Station 15-1 ml live longshot. In last gulf Thursday.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
What a great sport. Enjoy all of the coming preps and the derby.
Perl More than 1 year ago
That wudn't even a hossrace.
N Lad More than 1 year ago
Baffert's 3yos are out of this world these days. On a side note, Midnight Lute is flying high at stud.
Real M More than 1 year ago
Bottom line is he faced some decent horses who were within range at the top of the stretch and they didn't seem to mind the conditions up to that point. S99 ran away when pressured twice before the turn for home and destroyed the competition when it mattered. He was dominant and looks like he enjoys two turns. Bejarano suggested as much after the Hollywood Prevue. I understand people having rooting interests elsewhere but let's not dismiss this as an inflated off-track victory so quickly. This is a serious contender. I don't know if 1 1/4 is his game but I like that he can get out front to avoid trouble and handle an off-track. Being a son of Pulpit/Unbridled's Song mare it wouldn't shock me to see him win the Derby.
Perl More than 1 year ago
He didn't look so good on the gallop-out, but I wouldn't disqualify him on Breeding alone.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Second choice found to have lung infection.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
the pros...he has now run consecutive 100 beyers..hes trained by baffert...he has speed and this years point system might eliminate sprinters from the race... the cons....he beat nobody thus far....this was a front running romp on a muddy rail speed biased track....unlike bodemeister who had speed but was built like a stayer this horse has speed and is built like a sprinter...this horses breeding is fragile personified.Pulpit made 6 starts total and was injured in his 6 th,the dam was unraced and shes by unbridleds song whose offspring are notoriously fragile.... overall id say if this horses stays sound under b bafferts hard training and gets a muddy track on derby day he might just hold on.but under normal conditions although not without a shot I don't see it.
John More than 1 year ago
Very impressive, but Baffert is loaded this year ! It wouldnt surprise me to see him with 3-4 in the Derby. The maiden he ran last week, Midnight Lucky is a bit behind right now, but I think you can mark that name down........................Preakness ?
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
How long does DWL keep Will Take Charge on the Derby trail. First we will hear it was the slop, after he runs down the track in the Rebel we will hear he threw a shoe, he gets lucky at 52-1 and runs fourth the the Arkansas Derby and Lukas will say the horse will love Churchill. Odds of him running all 3 Classic races are 25-1, any takers?
Coniah Boda More than 1 year ago
Someone's still upset about Optimizer........
george cernansky More than 1 year ago
I just wanted Optimizer back on the turf, made lots of money since he returned. I hope Oxbow runs down the track next start.
Michael More than 1 year ago
47-1 in the futures pool. Good bet I guess if he even makes it to the derby. I bet you can get 10-1 plus on several nice horses that actually will run in the race. I think future bets are for gamblers not handicappers...
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Future bets are for fun and entertainment. If you get lucky that's great But they are their to help add interest for the fans....Pretty sure most people understand that
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Michael, my statement was meant to be in support of yours . I hope it reads that way.
Don Passidomo More than 1 year ago
Yep, for what it's worth I have him in KD pool #1 for my westcoast hope and Vyjack as my eastcoast hope at 50-1. Good luck, all luck especially atthis point just hoping these two can make it to starting gate.