Friday, November 16, 2012

Super Ninety Nine: Something to Look Forward To

He tossed his head, flashing his radiant white blaze as his red mane flowed, his neck arched as his rich chestnut coat gleamed in the morning sun. My eyes focused upon the Bob Baffert trainee's Breeders' Cup saddle towel, reading his name: Super Ninety Nine. Prior to seeing him in person, I had not been incredibly impressed by the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint contender. However, as soon as the colt graced my vision, he became my top selection.

Super Ninety Nine
Photo by Terri Cage
Super Ninety Nine displayed great muscularity for his age, possessing the powerful build of a Quarter Horse. It was impossible to deny that the colt reminded me of a former grade one-winning Baffert trainee, Euroears. Sharing the same chestnut coloring and similar markings, Super Ninety Nine was also powerfully built just as Euroears had been and also galloped in the same robust manner.

Unfortunately, after being cast in his stall, Super Ninety Nine was withdrawn from the Juvenile Sprint and thus was unable to reveal what he was capable of on Breeders' Cup weekend. But Super Ninety Nine had impressed me enough in the mornings to land a position on my radar.

The colt's debut was clearly exciting enough for his connections to enter him in the Breeders' Cup. His first start came in a seven-furlong maiden special weight over Santa Anita's main track, in which the chestnut was sent off as the third choice in a field of twelve. Super Ninety Nine did not briskly leave the starting gate, but with slight urging from jockey Martin Garcia, the chestnut colt rocketed to the lead as the field commenced its run down the backstretch.

However, the Tanma Corporation-owned colt was soon overtaken by the favorite, Quietasacat, off of whom Super Ninety Nine raced just to the outside. Just a half-length separated the two as an initial quarter-mile split of 23.05 was set, but Super Ninety Nine gradually began to decrease Quietasacat's lead as the pair led the field into the turn.

Super Ninety Nine matched strides with his nemesis midway through the curve, gaining a slight advantage as they reached the quarter pole. With asking from Garcia, Super Ninety Nine began to kick clear, lengthening his lead at the top of the stretch, holding off the charges of his rivals. In the final yards, the colt seemed to find his best stride despite changing leads, crossing the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front.

Super Ninety Nine
Photo by Terri Cage
Bred by Northwest Farms LLC, this rising star brings to life bloodlines that are like a web of speed and stamina. Bred on a cross of two of the most powerful sire lines of the breed, Super Ninety Nine possesses a pedigree that is not lacking in strength on either side.

Sired by Pulpit, Super Ninety Nine shares the same sire as such grade one winners as Corinthian, Ice Box, Purge, Pyro, Rutherienne, Sky Mesa, Stroll, and Tapit. Pulpit is of course a son of the great A.P. Indy, the sire of nearly thirty grade one winners, including Bernardini, Flashing, Mineshaft, Little Belle, Music Note, and Rags to Riches. The A.P. Indy sire line from which Super Ninety Nine descends has been highly successful, as A.P. Indy is also the sire of such productive studs as Bernardini, Congrats, Malibu Moon, Mineshaft, and Stephen Got Even. 

Super Ninety Nine's dam, Exogenetic, is a three-quarters sister to Exogenous, an ill-fated multiple grade one winner, and is also the dam of the multiple black-type-winning Elusive Horizon. A daughter of Unbridled's Song, Exogenetic provides Super Ninety Nine with the same broodmare sire as the group one winner Better Than Ever, as well as the graded stakes winners Etched, Hold Me Back, and Out of Bounds.

War Exchange, Super Ninety Nine's fourth dam, was a stakes-winning mare who produced two graded stakes winners, one of which was Barbarika, two-time Horse of the Year Curlin's granddam, thus making War Exchange the multiple classic winner's third dam. War Exchange is also the third dam of the grade one-winning champion Countess Diana.

Misfortune kept Super Ninety Nine out of the Breeders' Cup, but I will not soon forget this striking colt, who I will be keeping a close eye on. Bringing to the table eye-catching conformation and movement, as well as a beautiful pedigree, Super Ninety appears to have bright future ahead of him. Perhaps many are thinking of what could have been had he been able to compete in the Breeders' Cup. However, I am simply looking forward to what this colt's future holds.

Super Ninety Nine
Photo by Terri Cage

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