Preakness Profile: Simplification
Simplification finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby in his last start, rallying from far back to finish within four lengths of winner Rich Strike — and within three of runner-up Epicenter, who is the favorite in this spot.
He was the first Preakness horse to arrive in Baltimore, giving him the familiarity advantage, and some folks believe this is where the value may be come Preakness day.
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Trainer / Jockey (Preakness Mounts W-P-S): Antonio Sano / John Velazquez (11: 0-3-1)
Last Race (Finish): Kentucky Derby (4th)
Morning line: 6-1
A model of consistency, he has proven to be among the best in his class finishing in the top 3 in all six of his natural dirt races until his latest contest, when fourth in the Derby, though just 3½ lengths behind the winner in a 20-horse field is not too shabby at 35-1. It will be a mistake to dismiss him here. In the Derby he took an overland route, racing 7-wide on the far turn while the winner and runner-up (Epicenter) enjoyed saving ground most of the way.
With 11 fewer competitors in the Preakness, Simplification should get a much more favorable stalking trip behind a moderate early pace breaking from Post 1. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, looking for his first Preakness victory replaces Jose Ortiz who takes the mount on Early Voting. Johnny V. is getting long in the tooth and may be running out of opportunities to break is Preakness 0-fer. Of all the Preakness starters this year, Simplification was the first to arrive just days after the Derby which could be an advantage because several past Preakness winners who were Also-Rans in the Derby did the same (i.e. arrive early) as Oxbow and Louis Quatorze come to mind.
There’s something to be said for familiarity of the surroundings, galloping on the racing surface and being settled into a teporary home for nearly two weeks versus a couple days prior to a big race. A negative is that he has always regressed speed figure-wise following improvement from his previous race. If that trend continues, then he’ll regress here. Just food for thought.
|Simplification (FL) / T: Antonio Sano|
|Not this Time – Simply Confection, by Candy Ride (ARG)|