Verrazano remains unbeaten after gallant Wood Memorial victory
Saturday, April 6, 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
Artie Schiller 2YO gets black type win in first attempt title=
Artie Schiller

Artie Schiller 2YO gets black type win in first attempt

Artie B Good closed resolutely down the stretch to capture the $50,000 Jess Jackson Juvenile S. Aug. 13 at Santa Rosa by one length

[read more]

Copper Bullet takes Saratoga Special (G2) for More Than Ready title=
More Than Ready

Copper Bullet takes Saratoga Special (G2) for More Than Ready

Copper Bullet has been working well since shipping to New York from Kentucky, and the results showed in Sunday’s $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2)...

[read more]

Richard the Great lives up to his name in Trinniberg H. title=
Distorted Humor

Richard the Great lives up to his name in Trinniberg H.

Richard the Great was at his best in Saturday’s Trinniberg H. at Gulfstream Park, rolling to a 7 ½-length victory in a brilliant 1:21.06 for the seven furlongs...

[read more]

Overanalyze filly very sharp in Del Mar maiden special weight win title=
Overanalyze

Overanalyze filly very sharp in Del Mar maiden special weight win

Piedi Bianchi leveled off nicely in the final furlong of her five-furlong maiden special weight win Saturday at Del Mar...

[read more]

Paynter colt triumphs on Gulfstream Park turf title=
Paynter

Paynter colt triumphs on Gulfstream Park turf

Renaisance Frolic scooted up the rail and outran Miago in the stretch to claim a nose victory in a one-mile Gulfstream Park maiden special weight on the turf...

[read more]

Chilly Willis latest winner for Overanalyze title=
Overanalyze

Chilly Willis latest winner for Overanalyze

Overanalyze, the top-ranked First-Crop Sire in North America, got his 13th juvenile winner of 2017 on Friday evening...

[read more]

Overanalyze colt show dynamic turn of foot at Saratoga title=
Overanalyze

Overanalyze colt show dynamic turn of foot at Saratoga

Evaluator’s electric last-to-first move on the Saratoga turf course in a Saratoga $73,000 maiden special weight resulted in four-length victory for the 2-year-old Overanalyze colt...

[read more]

More Than Ready yearlings average $318,333 at F-T Saratoga Sale title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready yearlings average $318,333 at F-T Saratoga Sale

With none of his six lots to sell for less than $300,000 at the August 7-8 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings sale, More Than Ready’s sales average of $318,333...

[read more]

Tuesday F-T Saratoga Sale features $450K Tiznow colt title=
Tiznow

Tuesday F-T Saratoga Sale features $450K Tiznow colt

One day after having a $500,000 colt at the Aug. 7-8 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearlings sale, Tiznow’s Tuesday returns included a $450,000 colt by the champion WinStar stallion...

[read more]

Distorted Humor closes strong at F-T Saratoga Sale title=
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor closes strong at F-T Saratoga Sale

Distorted Humor wrapped up the Aug. 7-8 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearlings sale with a total of four lots selling for an average of $292,000...

[read more]