Epicenter, Simplification a powerful Derby duo for Not This Time
Monday, May 2, 2022
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Not This Time’s graded stakes winners Epicenter and Simplification drew posts 3 and 13, respectively, when the field of 20 3-year-olds was drawn for Saturday’s 148th Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Both colts bring impressive resumes into the Run for the Roses as they seek to become Not This Time’s first Derby winner from just his second crop of 3-year-olds.

Epicenter, trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds, wintered in Louisiana at Fair Grounds, where he won the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star S. (G2) and was beaten just a head in the LeComte S. (G3). The bay colt, who was a $260,000 buy at the 2020 Keeneland September sale, will be piloted by Joel Rosario and was made the 7-2 second choice on the morning line.

“Honestly I have so much confidence in Epicenter right now I don’t think you could overdo it [with a horse like him],” Asmussen commented after Epicenter’s work on May 1. “He has taken a lot of training extremely easy. Including, I thought he took the Louisiana Derby extremely easy, how he came back from the test barn and walked into the barn, and that's why his training and his works ever since have been faster, or stronger, than is the norm for me.”

Epicenter, who has earned just over $1 million, was bred in Kentucky by Westwind Farms.

Simplification took the south Florida route to Kentucky, winning the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) and finishing second in the Holy Bull S. (G3) and third in the Florida Derby (G1).

“Everything was great,” trainer Antonio Sano said of Simplification’s April 29 work that produced fractions of :37 and 1:00.44 with out times of 1:12.80, 1:25.20 and the mile in 1:38.60. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Simplification is owned by Tami Bobo and was bred in Florida by Frances and Irwin Weiner. He is from the same family as Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner and eventual Hall of Famer Ashado.

The Derby is the 12th race on Saturday with a post time of 6:57 p.m. ET.

Posted to | NOT THIS TIME