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
Speightstown’s 2yo colt Bayerd now a two-time stakes winner
Speightstown

Speightstown’s 2yo colt Bayerd now a two-time stakes winner

Bayerd battled to a game victory in the $250,000 Springboard Mile S. to give the 2-year-old Speightstown colt his second stakes victory...

[read more]

Dominating MdSpWt victory for Super Saver filly
Super Saver

Dominating MdSpWt victory for Super Saver filly

Embellish the Lace appears a filly with a very bright future after the 2-year-old Super Saver filly rocketed to a 10 ¼-length maiden special weight...

[read more]

Tiznow filly earns G2 honors in Argentina
Tiznow

Tiznow filly earns G2 honors in Argentina

Carinosa (ARG) charged to a three-length victory in the Premio Clasico Marcos Levalle (G2) at Argentina’s Hippodromo de La Plata to become Tiznow’s 13th stakes winner of 2014.

[read more]

More Than Ready filly cashes in with Wait a While S. win
More Than Ready

More Than Ready filly cashes in with Wait a While S. win

Stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first time, Consumer Credit scored a decisive 3 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Wait a While S. Saturday at Gulfstream Park...

[read more]

Distorted Humor “Rising Star” crushes at Aqueduct
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor “Rising Star” crushes at Aqueduct

Mawthooq’s eye-opening, 10-plus length maiden special weight win Nov. 26 at Aqueduct made the “TDN Rising Star” tag seem like a foregone designation...

[read more]

Congrats’ Skywarn a “Star” at Churchill Downs
Congrats

Congrats’ Skywarn a “Star” at Churchill Downs

The well-bred 2-year-old filly Skywarn’s impressive maiden special weight victory Sunday at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Distorted Humor filly comes up big in Grade 2 Bessarabian S.
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor filly comes up big in Grade 2 Bessarabian S.

Distorted Humor’s talented 4-year-old filly Hillaby registered a decisive victory in Sunday's $232,000 Grade 2 Bessarabian S. at Woodbine...

[read more]

Super Saver’s first-crop winners now number a dozen
Super Saver

Super Saver’s first-crop winners now number a dozen

Back Flip scored a wire-to-wire maiden special weight victory Sunday at Gulfstream Park to give Super Saver his 12th winner from his first crop...

[read more]

Who's in Town is 17th SW of year for Speightstown
Speightstown

Who's in Town is 17th SW of year for Speightstown

Who’s in Town garnered the first stakes win of her career Saturday at Laurel Park, when she came out on top in a field of 14 3-year-old fillies...

[read more]

Strong MdSpWt victory for Super Saver colt at Churchill Downs
Super Saver

Strong MdSpWt victory for Super Saver colt at Churchill Downs

Bo Talon cleared off late against a solid group of 2-year-olds Saturday at Churchill Downs to give the Super Saver colt a victory in his second career start...

[read more]