More than Ready's 3-year-old colt Verrazano turned in the most impressive performance of 2013 with a spectacular 16 ¼ -length victory in Saturday’s fifth race at Gulfstream Park.
With no urging at any point in the race from jockey John Velazquez, Verrazano stalked Gunderman for the first half of the race, then cruised by that foe to devastate his competition. The final time for the mile was 1:34.80 and a Beyer Speed Figure of 105, the highest number of any 3-year-old this year.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Verrazano debuted at Gulfstream with a 7 ¾ -length victory on Jan. 1.
“That was about as impressive as you’ll see one run. He’s been training really, really well, so we were anticipating a good race and hoping for a good race. You’re going from one out at 6 ½ furlongs and stretching out against some horses with more experience and some stakes form,” Pletcher said. “We were encouraged going into it and even more so coming out.”
Pletcher is undecided where Verrazano will make his next start.
“Obviously, he’s earned a right to step up into a big one. We’ve just got to figure out the timing of it,” Pletcher said. “We’re a little close to the Fountain of Youth (G2, Feb. 23 at Gulfstream), so it probably won’t be there. We’re just going to have to figure it out.”
Verrazano is a half-brother to El Padrino, winner of the Grade 2 Risen Star S. Their dam Enchanted Rock comes from the same mare as Grade 2 stakes winners Waldoboro and Tara Roma. Verrazano is owned by Let's Go Stable, who paid $250,000 for the colt at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling sale.