Verrazano remains unbeaten after gallant Wood Memorial victory
Saturday, April 06, 2013
More Than Ready's top 3-year-old Verrazano's victory in the $1 million Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct will send the star colt to Churchill Downs as one of the favorites for $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1).

Verrazano's big payday gave More Than Ready nearly $1.9 million in progeny earnings this year, propelling the WinStar stallion into the top 10 on the 2013 General Sire list.

The win extended Verrazano's perfect record to 4-for-4, impressively turning back the also previously undefeated Vyjack and then holding off the closing threat of Normandy Invasion to win by three-quarters of a length.

Verrazano got away without incident from post 2, running second through the early going as longshot Chrisandthecapper set leisurely fractions of 24.89 and 49.62 seconds. Verrazano took over going into the final turn, with Vyjack looming on the outside. Verrazano put that foe away in upper stretch, then dug in through the final sixteenth to hold Normandy Invasion at bay by three-quarters of a length. The winning time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.27.

“He made kind of a quick move on the turn, and then idled a little bit, and made another quick move and idled a bit, which he has a tendency to do, but a very good effort,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains  for the partnership of Let’s Go Stable and Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith.

The victory gave Verrazano an additional 100 points on the new Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying system.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong so far,” said Pletcher, who won the 2012 Wood with WinStar Farm's Gemologist. “There’s some more preps to go, but I would say right now he’s the legitimate (Derby) favorite. The key now is to go to Churchill and get over that track well. Churchill can be a very peculiar surface, and a lot of horses don’t handle it.

“I think he’s still learning,” added the trainer of Verrazano. “He has a tendency to idle a little bit and wait on company down the lane. I thought that today he did that a little bit. It was the first time he had horses real close to him at the finish of a race, so hopefully every step we make is a learning experience for him and he learns to polish off these races off a little better.”

Verrazano, whose previous three victories came in Florida, including the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, earned $600,000 to lift his bankroll to $861,300.

“We’re happy to move forward,” said Kevin Sullivan of Let’s Go Stable. “Anything can happen at Churchill, but this kind of validates us.”
Visit More Than Ready's Page More Than Ready
WinStar News
Barbados captures second straight stakes in Hutcheson S. (G3)
Speightstown

Barbados captures second straight stakes in Hutcheson S. (G3)

Barbados became Speightstown’s latest graded stakes winner on Saturday with a thrilling half-length victory in the $150,000 Hutcheson S. (G3)...

[read more]

Grade 3 Sweetest Chant S. goes to More Than Ready filly
More Than Ready

Grade 3 Sweetest Chant S. goes to More Than Ready filly

Consumer Credit captured her third straight win with an impressive performance in Saturday's Sweetest Chant S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park...

[read more]

Regally-bred Khozan a Distorted Humor ‘Rising Star’
Distorted Humor

Regally-bred Khozan a Distorted Humor ‘Rising Star’

Khozan came home the easiest of winners in his debut Saturday at Gulfstream Park, besting Wisecracker by 3 ¾-lengths to head a Distorted Humor “exacta”...

[read more]

G1-winning millionaire Overanalyze’s first foal is a filly

G1-winning millionaire Overanalyze’s first foal is a filly

WinStar Farm’s Overanalyze, the Grade 1-winning millionaire by Dixie Union, sired his first foal early Sunday, Jan. 18th when a filly was born at Red River Farm in Coushatta, LA...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile’s American Pharoah wins Eclipse Award
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile’s American Pharoah wins Eclipse Award

Zayat Stables’ brilliant 2-year-old colt American Pharoah became Pioneerof the Nile’s first Eclipse Award winner when he was named 2014 2-year-old Champion Male at Saturday night’s Eclipse Awards...

[read more]

Pink Poppy blooms in Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf
Tiznow

Pink Poppy blooms in Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf

Tiznow got his first stakes winner of 2015 Saturday at Gulfstream Park when Pink Poppy strode to a 1 ½-length score in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf S...

[read more]

Speightstown racks up third stakes winner of the month
Speightstown

Speightstown racks up third stakes winner of the month

Weekend Hideaway surpassed the half-million dollar earnings mark with a four-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint S...

[read more]

Paynter’s first foal is a filly
Paynter

Paynter’s first foal is a filly

The first foal by Grade 1 Haskell Invitational S. winner Paynter, a son of Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, arrived Jan. 13...

[read more]

Reynaldothewizard kicks off 2015 with win in Dubawi S.
Speightstown

Reynaldothewizard kicks off 2015 with win in Dubawi S.

Speightstown’s venerable sprinter Reynaldothewizard rolled to an emphatic 3 ¾-length win in the $150,000 Dubawi S...

[read more]

Bellamy Road colt is first foal of 2015 at WinStar
Bellamy Road

Bellamy Road colt is first foal of 2015 at WinStar

Early in the morning of Jan. 12 a colt by Bellamy Road became the first foal of 2015 born at WinStar Farm...

[read more]