Spacing Could Be Right For 10-1 Chance Simplification In Pennsylvania Derby - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Spacing Could Be Right For 10-1 Chance Simplification In Pennsylvania Derby

Simplification at Pimlico

Antonio Sano wrapped up a few phone calls dealing with his business back in South Florida at the end of training hours Thursday at Parx Racing before offering a prayer of sorts for his runner in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million betPARX Pennsylvania Derby.

“I hope and I pray,” Sano said, folding his hands before raising them in the air, palms out. “It's a very strong race. Very, very strong. I think The Travers is easier than this race. A lot of times this race isn't as strong as it is this year.”

Sano will saddle Simplification in said strong race, one of the last major stakes for 3-year-olds this season that attracted Grade 1 winners Zandon, Cyberknife, Taiba and White Abarrio and graded stakes winners Skippylongstocking, We the People and Tawny Port. Simplification brings his own lofty credentials into the nine-furlong Pennsylvania Derby, with victories this season in the Mucho Macho Man and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, and runs in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Simplification, a son of Not This Time who is 10-1 on the morning line for Saturday's headliner, comes off a third behind Skippylongstocking and We the People in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby in early August at Mountaineer Park. The West Virginia Derby was Simplification's first start in almost three months, after he suffered a bout of internal bleeding when sixth in the Grade 1 Preakness.

Sano sent Simplification to a farm for several weeks to recover from that incident before putting the Florida-bred colt back in serious training in late June. He picked the Pennsylvania Derby as the colt's main early autumn target, with hopes to make it to the Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Keeneland.

“The plan was always this,” Sano said. “After he went to the farm for about two months, I trained him four about four and a half weeks and then ran him in West Virginia. That race was mainly for conditioning, to get his fitness up. It was a good race and I liked that it was seven weeks to here.”

Sano breezed Simplification four times at his Gulfstream Park base before the West Virginia Derby. He sent the colt to Colonial Downs after the West Virginia Derby, breezed him twice there before putting the finishing touches on his preparation for the Pennsylvania Derby with two breezes at Parx, including a six-furlong drill in 1:11.96 Sept. 10.

Simplification could be a major player in the Pennsylvania Derby if he improves off his third last time and runs close to the form that saw him finish fourth, beaten only 3 ½ lengths by Rich Strike, in the Kentucky Derby, along with placings in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby this season. Jockey Paco Lopez takes the call on Simplification for the first time.

“He's doing very well; training well,” Sano said. “I'm hoping for a good race.”

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