More Than Ready Group 1 winner Verrazano will transfer from USA to continue his racing career in Ireland this year.
Verrazano (4c More Than Ready – Enchanted Rock by Giant’s Causeway) rose to the top of the North American three year-old division in 2013 after decisive victories in the G1 Wood Memorial, G1 Haskell Invitational and G2 Tampa Bay Derby.
In his final start of the season, he finished third against older horses in the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.
Bred in Kentucky, Verrazano was purchased for $250,000 by Let’s Go Stable at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. Coolmore Stud bought an interest in the colt in February 2013 after he won his first two starts by a combined margin of 24 lengths at Gulfstream Park.
Verrazano was expected to stand at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud base this year, however, that decision has been reversed. “Being the best son of More Than Ready – who is doing so well as a sire in Australia – we feel that a European campaign would raise his profile when the time comes for him to shuttle down there,” Ashford manager Dermot Ryan said.
Pletcher said it made sense to transfer Verrazano to Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables. “The owners love to have their best horses run at Royal Ascot,” he explained. “A win there would be of great benefit to his stallion career.”
Verrazano is the second star by a Vinery sire to transfer from Pletcher to O’Brien in the last twelve months. Big Brown colt Darwin won an Aqueduct maiden in October 2012 before relocating to win the G3 The Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh in July.