Churchill Downs release:
Trainer Bob Baffert told the Churchill Downs communications team Tuesday afternoon that Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy were no longer under consideration for the $2 million Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.
“After speaking with my owners, we’ve decided not to run Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy in the Kentucky Derby,” Baffert said via telephone from California. “Based on their recent form, we just didn’t feel they’d be competitive enough to win. They’re both good horses, but we’ll look for something else down the road. We realize there are some other horses on the ‘bubble’ with the hope of running and we wanted to get this information out as soon as possible to make sure they’d have every opportunity to run and prepare for a start in the Derby.”
Super Ninety Nine, owned by Susan Chu’s Tanma Corporation, was ranked No. 18 with 30 points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Leaderboard that determines which 20 horses would have preference for America’s greatest race. After winning Oaklawn Park’s Southwest by 11 ¼ lengths in February, Super Ninety Nine returned to finish fifth in the Rebel and a distant third in the Santa Anita Derby.
Den’s Legacy, a runner-up in the Sham and Robert Lewis and third in the CashCall Futurity and Rebel, finished sixth in the Arkansas Derby for Scott and Joe Ford’s Westrock Stable. He had 20 points, which ranked 20th.
The official defection of Super Ninety Nine and Den’s Legacy clears the way for Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten, third in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, to make the 20-horse field.
Baffert, a three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer, still has runaway Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie (No. 11) on target for the Derby and possibly Code West (No. 21) and Power Broker (No. 24).
“As for Code West and Power Broker, we haven’t made any decisions yet about their Derby status,” Baffert said. “I’ll be in (Louisville) Saturday and I want to watch them train over the track and see what happens. They’ll work again Sunday or Monday, but I won’t make final decisions about those two until I have to.”
Baffert also reported that Fiftyshadesofhay won’t run in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 3.
“But she could go in the Eight Belles or Black-Eyed Susan,” Baffert said.