Simplification ‘Stronger’ for G1 Curlin Florida Derby
Fountain of Youth Hero Breezes 5F in 59.97 Seconds Pappacap Works Half-Mile in 47.80 at Casse Farm Classic Causeway Breezes, Possible for Florida Derby
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Tami Bobo’s Simplification breezed five furlongs at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in final preparation for a planned start in next Saturday’s $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1).
The son of Not This Time produced the second fastest clocking of 31 workouts recorded at the five-furlong distance while completing five furlongs in 59.91 seconds under Leonel Reyes, who was subbing for jockey Jose Ortiz, who rode on Saturday’s Dubai World Cup program.
“He breezed faster than I thought he would. He worked good and came out of the work good,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “The jockey told me he was easy to handle. The gallop-out after the finish was very, very good – better than last week.”
Simplification is coming off a dominating 3 ½-length victory March 5 in the 1 1/16-mile Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2), in which he made a sweeping move from off the pace to give his trainer his second success in the final prep for the Gulfstream’s signature 1 1/8-mile Triple Crown prep.
“I’m so happy. He is doing great. I know there are good horses in the race, but my horse is getting stronger and stronger,” said Sano, who saddled Gunnevera for a Fountain of Youth victory in 2017 prior to a third-place finish in the Florida Derby.
Simplification kicked off his 3-year-old campaign with a front-running victory in the mile Mucho Macho Man Jan. 1 before finishing a troubled second behind Florida Derby contender White Abarrio in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull Feb. 5.
OGMA Investments LLC and Jack Hardin Towell Jr.’s O Captain, a deep-closing third in the Fountain of Youth, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.11 at Gulfstream Park for the Florida Derby. Carrie Brogden’s Steal Sunshine, a recent runner-up in a Gulfstream optional claiming allowance, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.57 for trainer Bobby DiBona.
At Palm Meadows Training Center, Rustlewood Farm Inc.’s Pappacap turned in a sharp half-mile breeze in 47.80 seconds Saturday morning at Casse Training Center for his scheduled return to Gulfstream next Saturday. The son of Gun Runner scored a debut victory at Gulfstream last May before going on the win the Best Pal (G2) at Del Mar in his next start. The Mark Casse trainee finished second in both the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar before finishing a close third in the Lecomte (G3) and running off the board in the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds.
Kentucky West Racing LLC and Clarke Cooper’s Classic Causeway, who captured the March 12 Tampa Bay Derby (G2), returned to the worktab at Gulfstream Park’s satellite training center in Palm Beach Country Saturday morning with a half-mile breeze in 47.45 seconds. The Brian Lynch-trained son of Giant’s Causeway, who produced the second fastest of 93 works at the distance, is possible for a Kentucky Derby tune-up in the Florida Derby.
At Palm Beach Downs, Whisper Hill Farm LLC’s Charge It breezed a half-mile in 48.30 seconds, the fastest clocking of 30 recorded at the distance. The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Tapit is coming off a sharp maiden score at Gulfstream Park.
Irish Smith Stable LLC’s Shipsational, who finished third behind Classic Causeway in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), tuned up for a scheduled start in the Florida Derby with a five-furlong breeze in 1:02 at Tampa Bay Downs.