Super Ninety Nine, a graded stakes-winning son of Pulpit, has been retired from racing and will stand at Josh and Mike Pons’ Country Life Farm near Bel Air, Maryland, as the property of Spendthrift Farm and Country Life. The 4-year-old chestnut colt is being offered in Spendthrift’s popular Share the Upside Program, whereby mare owners who breed at a fee of $5,000 for the first two seasons earn a lifetime breeding right with no expenses. In the alternative, mare owners can access the stallion at a live foal fee of $4,000.
Super Ninety Nine arrived at Spendthrift on Sept. 11 from trainer Bob Baffert’s barn in California, and is available for inspection through the Keeneland September yearling sale before shipping to Maryland.
“The new breeder’s awards program in Maryland is attracting better mares,” said Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes. “We started Malibu Moon at stud with the Pons boys, and we bred good mares to him to get him going. We sent Malibu Moon’s son Freedom Child to stud there last year. You don’t make stallions like Malibu Moon unless you support them early, and we will send a large draft of mares to Maryland. We studied the Maryland-bred program and it’s a big incentive for us to make stallions with Country Life.”
Bred in Kentucky by Northwest Farms, Super Ninety Nine raced for the Tanma Stable of Susan and Charles Chu, who purchased him for $260,000 at the June 2012 Ocala 2-year-old sale. Sent to trainer Bob Baffert, Super Ninety Nine won his debut at Santa Anita, defeating future Grade 1-winner Shakin It Up. He then was second in the Grade 3 Hollywood Preview Stakes, beaten a half-length.
In his 3-year-old debut at Santa Anita, he breezed to 3 ¼-length victory, and Baffert mapped out a Triple Crown campaign through the Oaklawn Park preps. He sent Super Ninety Nine out for the $300,000, Grade 3 Southwest Stakes, and the colt blazed to a wire-to-wire 11¼-length win in the 1 1/16th-mile test, earning consecutive triple-digit Beyers.
Super Ninety Nine was favored in the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel Stakes, won by Will Take Charge, with Oxbow second, both eventual Grade 1-winners. In the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, Super Ninety Nine sped to the lead, finishing third behind eventual Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Grade 1 winner Goldencents and Grade 2-winner Flashback. He retires with a record of eight starts, three wins, one second, and one third, and earnings of $378,260.
“He made the cover of The Blood-Horse, with the headline ‘Super Fast,’” said Baffert. “That describes him perfectly.”
Super Ninety Nine’s dam, the unraced Unbridled’s Song mare Exogenetic, is a full-sister to ill-fated Exogenous, Grade 1-winner of $945,560.
“Super Ninety Nine is a very fast horse,” said Country Life’s Mike Pons. “He is by Pulpit, the sire of Tapit, and Pulpit is the grandsire of this year’s classics winner California Chrome. Pulpit is clearly a sire of sires. Super Ninety Nine’s potential as a sire should be apparent to anyone familiar with Spendthrift’s Share the Upside program. Look what they’ve already done with Into Mischief and Warrior’s Reward. It’s a program that rewards breeders by giving them a piece of the stallion. It’s fun to be partnering with Spendthrift on this talented horse.”