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Santa Anita:Super Ninety Nine, Code West earn shots at Kentucky Derby preps
Super Ninety Nine and Code West are bound for major stakes for 3-year-olds after finishing first and second in a quick allowance race over a mile Thursday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Super Ninety Nine ($5) stalked pacesetter Appealing Tale for the first six furlongs before pulling away to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Code West in 1:35.11. Super Ninety Nine was awarded a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.
The allowance race was Super Ninety Nine’s first start around two turns. In his last start, he finished fourth in an allowance race over six furlongs.Risen Sta
“At Hollywood, Bejarano told me that he would go long,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “Then, he laid an egg.”
Super Ninety Nine was second to stablemate Really Mr Greely in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs in November. Super Ninety Nine missed a start in the BC Juvenile Sprint in November after being cast in his stall on the morning of the race.
In Thursday’s race, Super Ninety Nine earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100; Code West earned a 94.
“I think they’re both good horses,” Baffert said. Super Ninety Nine “looked like Bodemeister, didn’t he?”
The Baffert-trained Bodemeister won the 2012 Arkansas Derby and was second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Baffert said that Super Ninety Nine could run in stakes here or in another state. The next major race for the division at Santa Anita is the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on March 9.
Code West will be considered for a race at Fair Grounds, possibly the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 23.
“Code West wants to run farther,” Baffert said. “He wants to go a minimum of a mile and an eighth. Fair Grounds might be a good stretch for him.”
Interaction among San Marcos probables
There is one graded stakes at Santa Anita next week, the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes on Saturday, a Grade 2 over 1 1/4 miles on turf.
The candidates include Interaction, second in the Hollywood Turf Cup in December; Juniper Pass and Slim Shadey, who were fourth and sixth in the San Gabriel Stakes; Dreamcatcher, third in an optional claimer Jan. 6; and Smart Ellis, who was seventh in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes on turf Dec. 26.
A race has not been determined for San Gabriel winner Jeranimo, trainer Mike Pender said Friday.
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