Pianist perfect on turf for More Than Ready

Pianist maintained her undefeated record on turf at Belmont Park with a G3 victory in the Athenia Stakes (1700m) on Saturday.

The daughter of Vinery champion More Than Ready seized control at the top of the straight and crossed the line a comfortable two length winner.  The Chad Brown trainee recorded her first black type victory in the Given Stakes at Belmont last September and added the Gallorette Hcp at Pimlico in May.

Pianist (4f More Than Ready – Red Piano by Red Ransom) was bred in Kentucky and sold for $100,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling.  Her dam is a half-sister to successful sire Stanislavsky.

Pianist is owned by Hidden Brook Farm and Dan Zucker and was coming off a neck loss in a Group 2 at Saratoga.  “We ran into Laughing last time,” stable spokesman Cherie DeVaux said.  “She has been just outstanding for us this year,.”

Earlier on Saturday morning at Belmont, More Than Ready’s star three year-old Verrazano worked a bullet 61.08s for 1000 metres.  He is flying in readiness for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Verrazano won the G1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park before an unplaced run in the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has been steadily increasing the intensity of Verrazano’s workload – he clocked 49.10s for 800m on September 21 followed by 49.68s for 800m on September 28 and 61.26s for 1000m on October 5.