Super Ninety Nine took his show on the road last time out after four starts in California, which earned him a dominating win in the Southwest Stakes. His last two starts have earned him triple digit Bris speed ratings and makes him the solid favorite to win the Rebel Stakes this Saturday. This horse obviously has greatly improved with the switch to two turn racing and deserves the role of the favorite. Baffert also has an incredible record at Oaklawn in the past and is looking for his fourth straight win in this race. He does step up in class, faces a better quality of horses, and breaks from the 11 hole, so let’s see who could give him some trouble.
- Carve – The rail is winning at an 18% rate and he likes to sit right off the pace. His speed figures aren’t blowing anyone away but his wins have shown he can rate and win smartly. I think Asmussen hasn’t gotten to the bottom of this gelding so I look for bigger things.
- Treasury Bill – Making his first start beyond 7 furlongs and his breeding (by Lemon Drop Kid, out of a Menifee mare) suggests he will improve with the added distance. He likes to run from way back so the pace will need to be swift for him. This is his first start out of California.
- Texas Bling – Will be a longshot again after a 9th place finish in the Southwest. He surprised three starts back so it may not come as a huge surprise to see him close at the end.
- Delhomme – He will be a pace setter. He almost got the win in the Remsen, so a reduction in distance makes him a danger. He also earned a 103 Bris rating in the Remsen.
- Hardrock Eleven – Finished almost 40 lengths behind the winner in the Risen Star. Would really need to improve against this field.
- Den’s Legacy – Liked him in the Robert E. Lewis, but Flashback was too much for him. He’ll be another right off the early speed and looks to get a perfect stalking trip. His Bris ratings are below the top contenders but Baffert gives him a chance here.
- Will Take Charge – Looked great in his win in the Smarty Jones, but was too far back in the Southwest. His better races have seen him closer to the pace instead of being so far back. Hopefully Court will do just that.
- Stormy Holiday – First two starts were wins at 5 ½ furlongs, but now has put four consecutive fourth place finishes. He makes his first start beyond a mile but I don’t see this one improving that much.
- Title Contender – Looked to be home free in his last start after setting the pace and opening up in the stretch. He was just caught by Carve. He should be close again to the pace and got a good workout on February 28th going 4 furlongs in :47 3/5.
- Oxbow – I really liked him in the Risen Star and only finished ½ length behind in fourth. Lukas will not harness his speed and given the rest of the speed in this race, I don’t see this resulting in a good effort.
- Super Ninety Nine – The outside post will be his greatest challenge along with the rest of the speed in this race. If he rates, he is an extreme danger.
My top picks to beat Super Ninety Nine are Carve and Treasury Bill. I think these two will get a good trip from the inside post and have an advantage of a well spread out field and be able to run down the early speed.
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Best of luck!
Jonathan Fowler – KS Handicapper