Simplification Takes Bobo to Holy Bull

Tami Bobo and Simplification in the winner's circle after the Mucho Macho Man S. Ryan Thompson


Florida horsewoman Tami Bobo has picked out a number of sales prospects that eventually became elite racehorses.

Speech (Mr. Speaker), a filly Bobo pinhooked as a weanling for $65,000 who later sold for $190,000 as a 2-year-old, won the 2020 GI Ashland S. Lazy Daisy (Paynter), just a $2,000 weanling, went to the Breeders' Cup in 2019. Both were preceded by Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy), a colt Bobo purchased privately in 2010 when he RNA'd for $80,000. After breaking and training him herself, she stayed in for a small piece and celebrated as he went on to become a Grade I winner.

On Saturday, Bobo is looking forward to watching one of her weanling purchases race in her own silks as Simplification (Not This Time) steps up to graded stakes company in the GIII Holy Bull S.

“I've had a lot of really good horses, but I haven't stayed in all the way like I did with this colt,” explained Bobo, who has been involved in the Thoroughbred business for 11 years.

Bobo purchased Simplification privately from Tristan and Valerie de Meric in August of the Florida-bred colt's yearling year.

“We bought him because Not This Time was doing well at the time and we thought it was a good opportunity to buy [a Not This Time],” Bobo recalled. “We took him to our farm to break him and he was a tough colt. In the round pen he was super fancy and very bold. Fernando, my significant other, said that with as tough as he was, he could be a real runner.”

As the 2-year-old sales approached, X-rays showed a touch of sesamoiditis. Bobo was not bothered by the findings, but knew it would hurt him in the sales ring, so she decided to race him herself.

She sent Simplification to her primary trainer Antonio Sano at Gulfstream Park. Less than a month later, Sano was calling her and singing the colt's praises, proclaiming that this was one of the best horses he had ever trained and that she needed to be sure to make it to his first race. But when Simplification made his debut last October, he finished a disappointing fifth.

“He didn't like the Tapeta surface at all,” Bobo explained. “It was one of those moments like, 'What just happened?' because Antonio had been raving about this horse.”

Simplification's four-length victory in the Mucho Macho Man S. | Ryan Thompson

When the colt returned to the starting gate 22 days later, this time on the dirt, he romped by 16 3/4 lengths.

“Antonio had said, 'Now that's the horse I train every day,'” Bobo recalled with a laugh.

At that point, offers starting coming in to purchase the promising colt, but Bobo went against her normal practice and decided to keep him to herself for the time being.

In his next start in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream, the race did not go as planned when Simplification reared in the starting gate and banged his head, but still held steady to finish third.

“When he came back, he was a disaster,” Bobo said. “There was blood everywhere. For him to still finish third, it truly solidified that this horse was full of heart.”

In his 3-year-old debut stretching out to a mile against open company in the Mucho Macho Man S., Simplification took the lead early and won by an authoritative four lengths.

“The experience this horse gave us that day was unbelievable,” Bobo said. “You never know if you will ever get there and now that this horse has done what he's done, he doesn't owe me anything. He truly doesn't owe me a dollar going forward. My thought is that hopefully he stays sound, but he has already given me the thrill of a lifetime and we're blessed to own him.”

Simplification will face a field of eight rivals in Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S. including likely favorite GII Remsen S. winner Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), Kenny McPeek's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Tiz the Bomb (Hit It A Bomb) as well as Giant Game (Giant's Causeway), who ran third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Asked if she would still consider offers for the colt after Saturday, Bobo responded, “I enjoy having him, but I'm a business person. If the time comes that it makes sense I'll probably entertain it at some point, but right now we just need to focus and see what we have after this weekend.”

Such difficult choices must be made in this business, a fact Bobo has learned many times over throughout her time in the industry. Bobo started out training 2-year-olds, but has now centered her focus on pinhooking weanlings to yearlings through her First Finds division and yearling to 2-year-olds through her Secure Investments division.

“We buy weanlings and sell as yearlings,” she explained. “The ones that don't get sold will go on and hopefully sell as 2-year-olds. If they don't sell, we will usually race them. However, if we have a horse whose sire maybe cools off or isn't as fashionable as it was six months ago, or if they have a little bump on an X-ray, it doesn't always make sense to sell them.”

She continued, “With Simplification, I wasn't in a position where I had to sell him, thank God. Looking at the big picture now, I didn't pay a lot for him, but it was a significant price at the time based on his sire's stud fee. Then going into the 2-year-old sales with the sesamoiditis, I don't know that I'd have even gotten back what I paid for him. Knowing the colt and having worked with him at the farm, we weren't afraid to race him.”

With the 2-year-old sales fast approaching, Bobo says she has 43 pinhooks preparing to go through the ring.

“The de Merics are training 34 2-year-olds for me this year and Randy Bradshaw was brought on board this year as well,” she noted. “I have a few other people with horses here and there.”

Perhaps even more exciting for Bobo, she said they have put a large investment into this year's weanling to yearling pinhook operation. First Finds purchased a dozen weanlings at the Keeneland November Sale alone, including a $235,000 Medaglia d'Oro colt out of Canadian champion female sprinter River Maid (Where's the Ring) and a $200,000 Catalina Cruiser colt who has since become the half-brother to 'TDN Rising Star' Shahama (Munnings), winner of this year's UAE 1000 Guineas Trial at Meydan.

“We were really blessed with that Catalina Cruiser colt,” Bobo said. “We have a total of 28 weanling pinhooks this year. It keeps it fun and keeps it exciting.”

With a busy sales season ahead, Bobo is first looking forward to what will surely be a memorable weekend at Gulfstream.

“I am so excited to be going,” she said. “I love this business and am so blessed to do what I love every day. To be blessed with a horse like this is what it's all about.”

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