Trainer Todd Pletcher wheeled out his latest classic candidate when Verrazano scored a stunning 16 length victory over 1600m at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Verrazano is by Vinery champion More Than Ready and had won by 7 lengths on debut at 1300m around the same Florida circuit on New Year’s Day. “He’s been training really, really well and we were anticipating a good race,” Pletcher said. “We were encouraged going into it and even more so coming out.”
Verrazano (3c More Than Ready – Enchanted Rock by Giant’s Causeway) is a half-brother to El Padrino (Pulpit) who took out the G2 Risen Star Stakes twelve months ago.
Pletcher is undecided where Verrazano will make his next start. “Obviously, he’s earned a right to step up into a big one. We’ve just got to figure out the timing of it,” Pletcher said. “We’re a little close to the G2 Fountain of Youth (February 23) se’re just going to have to figure it out.”
Pletcher’s band of Kentucky Derby prospects already includes Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby, Remsen Stakes winner Overanalyze and CashCall Futurity winner Violence.
The Hall of Fame trainer prepared More Than Ready during a career highlighted by victories in the G1 King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga and the G2 Sanford Stakes and Tremont Stakes.