Verrazano toys with competition in Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Verrazano's stakes debut in Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby had his competition raving after the dominating win by the 3-year-old More Than Ready colt, who is undefeated in three starts.

“Todd’s (trainer Pletcher) horse is a freak,” said Ken McPeek, trainer of Tampa Bay Derby runner-up Java's War.

Verrazano is More Than Ready's leading earner of 2013, helping propel his sire into the top 15 on this year's General Sire list. Verrazano broke his maiden by 7 3/4-lengths New Year's Day at Gulfstream Park, then came back a month later for an eye-popping 16 1/4-length score over the same surface

Despite stumbling slightly at the break, Verrazano was just a length off the lead after a quarter mile, then put himself in front for good entering the backstretch. Jockey John Velazquez gave the flashy bay a nudge on the second turn, and Verrazano sprinted clear with ease, galloping home a three length winner in 1:43.96 for the 1 1/16-miles. He earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure, his second straight triple-digit number.

Verrazano, who is owned by the Let’s Go Stable syndicate headed by Bryan Sullivan and Kevin Scatuorchio and the Coolmore entity of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier, earned 50 points toward qualifying for a spot in the May 4 Kentucky Derby (G1).

“He has had some freakishly good performances and some of the things he does in the morning in his training, we don’t see too often,” he said.

“Today was a good performance. He is a lot like his sire, More Than Ready (who Pletcher also trained); he has a great disposition and a great mind. You always worry about the variables – his first time shipping to a new place, the first time around two turns, the first time in a stakes. So we had a lot of variables he hadn’t seen before and he seemed to handle them real well.

“We were a little unsure of what the pace scenario would be. You had horses with speed coming out of other races and ideally we wanted to stalk someone, but he is so naturally fast for a big horse, there wasn’t enough pace to get behind too many horses,” Pletcher said.

“He stumbled a little bit leaving the gate, but he seemed to recover quickly and put himself in a good spot. Once John got him to the middle of the track and got him to settle, it looked like he was very relaxed throughout. When he made the lead, he kind of pricked his ears like he tends to do and seemed like he was waiting a little on the competition.”

Pletcher said Verrazano’s next start would be the March 30 Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1), the April 6 Wood Memorial (G1) or the April 13 Arkansas Derby (G1).

“The way he has finished his mile and mile-and-a-sixteenth races, I don’t see another sixteenth being much of an issue. To come here and get 50 Kentucky Derby points, everyone can take a deep breath and see what happens next.”

“If you’re a fan of horse racing, you’ve got to love this horse,” Scatuorchio said. “He’s amazing.”

“It’s always nerve-wracking when you’re a (2-5) favorite, but he validated everyone’s expectations,” Sullivan said. “We’re excited and we’re looking forward to his next race.”

Bred in Kentucky by Emory Hamilton, Verrazano is a half-brother to Risen Star S. (G2) winner El Padrino, out of Enchanted Rock, whose siblings include Grade 2 winners Waldoboro and Tara Roma.
Visit More Than Ready's Page More Than Ready
More Than Ready colt rallies to $125,000 Gazebo S. win title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready colt rallies to $125,000 Gazebo S. win

Bourne in Nixa went from the back of the pack to first in the final quarter mile to win Oaklawn Park's $125,000 Gazebo S. by 1 3/4-lengths for his first career stakes win...

[read more]

Gemologist filly wins second race in three weeks title=
Gemologist

Gemologist filly wins second race in three weeks

Schema scored her second straight win on Feb. 23 at Turfway Park with a front-running tally in a one mile allowance contest...

[read more]

Magicalmeister takes John Battaglia Memorial for first stakes win title=
Bodemeister

Magicalmeister takes John Battaglia Memorial for first stakes win

Magicalmeister's win in the John Battaglia Memorial S. at Turfway Friday night topped off a terrific day for Bodemeister...

[read more]

Classy Paynter colt shines in Oaklawn Park maiden score title=
Paynter

Classy Paynter colt shines in Oaklawn Park maiden score

Pryor was all business as he drew off to an impressive 5 3/4-length maiden special weight win on Presidents' Day at Oaklawn Park...

[read more]

Paynter fillies double up for maiden victories title=
Paynter

Paynter fillies double up for maiden victories

Paynter has risen to the #4 spot on the active North American Second-Crop Sire list after a pair of fillies by the young WinStar stallion broke their maidens at Fair Grounds and Laurel Park.

[read more]

Promising Paynter 3YO shines in Santa Anita Park debut title=
Paynter

Promising Paynter 3YO shines in Santa Anita Park debut

Westrock Stables' homebred Ike overcame a four-wide trip to score by a half-length in a Feb. 11 Santa Anita Park maiden special weight for 3-year-olds...

[read more]

Tiznow’s Red Ruby jumps onto Oaks Trail in big way title=

Tiznow’s Red Ruby jumps onto Oaks Trail in big way

Red Ruby, the fast-rising 3-year-old filly by Tiznow, threw her name into the 2018 Kentucky Oaks picture on Jan. 10th after her second straight daylight victory, this one coming in her stakes debut in the $125,000 Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn...

[read more]

Tiznow has top yearling at Fasig-Tipton Winter Sale title=
Tiznow

Tiznow has top yearling at Fasig-Tipton Winter Sale

Glenn Brok made the winning bid of $260,000 for a Tiznow colt at the Feb. 5-6 Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale in Kentucky

[read more]

Check Out the WinStar Farm Super Bowl Commercial

Check Out the WinStar Farm Super Bowl Commercial

[read more]

Champion Roy H kicks off 2018 with big win in Palos Verdes S. (G2) title=
More Than Ready

Champion Roy H kicks off 2018 with big win in Palos Verdes S. (G2)

More Than Ready's 2017 Eclipse Champion Sprinter Roy H started 2018 in style with an easy 3 1/2-length win in the $200,000 Palos Verdes S. (G2) Feb. 3 at Santa Anita Park...

[read more]