Jockey Javier Castellano had a simple strategy aboard Simplification in Saturday’s $150,000 Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream Park — put the speedy colt on the lead and make his rivals catch him. None could.
Holding a one-length advantage while setting fractions of :23.70, :45.81, and 1:09.96, Simplification saved plenty for the final quarter-mile, kicking clear to win by four lengths from 4-5 favorite Strike Hard. It was more than seven lengths back to Mr Rum Runner, who edged Graphic Detail for third by a neck. Sport Pepper and Skippylongstocking completed the order of finish.
“It’s exactly how I handicapped the race,” Castellano said. “I watched his replays and I worked the horse, and he’s got speed but at the same time he is able to relax. We didn’t expect to be on the lead, because we were trying to stretch out the horse and let him develop a good foundation, but he took it in the nice way. I didn’t want to take away anything that comes easy, and he was straightforward.”
Owned by Tami Bobo and trained by Antonio Sano, Simplification paid $10.40 after completing one mile over a fast track in 1:35.04.
The Mucho Macho Man was the stakes debut for Simplification, who turned heads on Oct. 23 in his second start when breaking his maiden by 16 3/4 lengths facing Florida-breds at Gulfstream over six furlongs. That performance was bookended by a fifth-place finish in his debut on Tapeta earlier in October and by a third-place finish in a Nov. 13 allowance on the dirt over six furlongs. Simplification’s earnings now sit at $125,270.
“Right now we’re going on to the Holy Bull ([G3] on Feb. 5,” Sano said. “I think it’s perfect.”
Bred in Florida by France Weiner and Irwin Weiner, Simplification is by Not This Time and out of the stakes-placed Simply Confection, by Candy Ride. Simplification’s third dam, Goulash, produced two-time champion filly Ashado, Grade 1 winner Sunriver, and Grade 3 scorer Saint Stephen.