Locally connected horse on experimental free handicap

Among the 125 colts and geldings and 117 fillies on this year's Experimental Free Handicap is graded stakes-placed Super Ninety Nine, a colt bred by Northwest Farms LLC. The son of Pulpit-Exogentic, by Unbridled's Song, who was weighted at 111 pounds, added to his record on January 31 when he won a mile allowance/$80,000 optional claiming race at Santa Anita Park by 3 1 /4 lengths.

Also weighted at 111 was Positively, a Distorted Humor half-brother to two-time Washington leading sire Parker's Storm Cat.

Dr. George Todaro's stakes-winning Zeewat, a son of Harlan's Holiday, was given a weight of 110. Also at 110 was Buckleberry Grey, a son of Unbridled's Song out of graded stakes winner Elusive Diva - a daughter of Washington broodmare of the year Taj Aire who was bred by John and Doris Konecny.

Among the fillies, three are out of daughters of stallions who stood or stand in the Pacific Northwest. Power Lady, ranked at 103, is a daughter of Discreet Cat out of the Defensive Play mare Lady in Power. Grindstone has two maternal granddaughters on the list: the Flatter filly Flattermewithroses, ranked at 103; and Vitameta at 100. Another filly ranked with 103 pounds was Mr Hall's Opus, a daughter of Officer out of Emerald Downs stakes winner Sal de Oro. A daughter of Expelled, Sala de Oro was bred by Barbara Ratcliff's Coal Creek Farm and raced by David Mowat.

The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually in late January by The Jockey Club since 1935, is compiled for a hypothetical race for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. To be eligible for weighting, a two-year-old must have finished in the top four in a graded or listed stakes race run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2012 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters, and no restrictions other than age or sex.

Eclipse Award winners Shanghai Bobby, at 125, and Beholder, at 123, were the divisional leaders.

The weighting committee of racing secretaries consists of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, who assign weights to eligible horses based on accomplishments during the two-year-old season.


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