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
Tarty to the Party up in time in $100K Saylorville S. title=
Speightstown

Tarty to the Party up in time in $100K Saylorville S.

Speightstown's incredibly consistent mare Tarty to the Party kicked in late in the $100,000 Saylorville S. at Prairie Meadows racetrack to win the six-furlong contest by a head...

[read more]

Drosselmeyer filly tallies first stakes victory title=
Drosselmeyer

Drosselmeyer filly tallies first stakes victory

Find Joy found her best stride in the final furlong of Sunday's $50,000 Kent S. at Emerald Downs, powering past Brookys Star for a 1 1/4-length victory...

[read more]

American Patriot scores big on Belmont Park turf title=
American Patriot

American Patriot scores big on Belmont Park turf

WinStar Farm's homebred 3-year-old colt American Patriot tallied an eye-catching three length victory on the Belmont Park inner turf course on Saturday...

[read more]

You Know Too sparkles in debut for Colonel John title=
Colonel John

You Know Too sparkles in debut for Colonel John

Colonel John's debuting 2-year-old filly You Know Too turned in one of the most impressive juvenile performances this year Thursday at Delaware Park, romping to a six-length victory...

[read more]

More Than Ready 2yos run 1-2 for leading juvenile sire title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready 2yos run 1-2 for leading juvenile sire

Bahama Halo and Noble Ready completed a More Than Ready stallion exacta in a six-furlong Belmont Park maiden special weight race on June 22...

[read more]

Well-bred Super Saver filly sharp in MdSpWt debut title=
Super Saver

Well-bred Super Saver filly sharp in MdSpWt debut

Open Arms chalked up an eye-catching victory in her June 19 debut in a seven-furlong maiden special weight contest at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Wood Memorial (G1) winner Outwork to stand at WinStar upon retirement title=

Wood Memorial (G1) winner Outwork to stand at WinStar upon retirement

WinStar Farm and Woodford Thoroughbreds have partnered to acquire the breeding rights to Repole Stable’s leading 3-year-old colt Outwork, winner of this year’s Wood Memorial (G1) from the first crop of sire sensation Uncle Mo...

[read more]

Speightstown colt racks up third black type win title=
Speightstown

Speightstown colt racks up third black type win

Full Salute took to the Monmouth Park turf course Sunday and came away with a one-length victory in the $60,000 Select S...

[read more]

Late surge carries Creator to Belmont S. (G1) victory title=

Late surge carries Creator to Belmont S. (G1) victory

WinStar Farm and Bobby Flay's Creator weaved his way between horses in the Belmont Park stretch to catch and pass Destin in the final strides of the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1)...

[read more]

Tom's Ready makes the grade in Woody Stephens S. (G2) title=
More Than Ready

Tom's Ready makes the grade in Woody Stephens S. (G2)

Tom's Ready became More Than Ready's second stakes winner in two days with his incredible last-to-first run to capture the $500,000 Woody Stephens S. (G2)...

[read more]