Verrazano got his season back on track with a 9 length victory in the G3 Pegasus Stakes (1700m) at Monmouth Park on Sunday.
The Todd Pletcher trained colt is a son of Vinery champion More Than Ready and he was appearing for the first time since an uncharacteristic 14th in the Kentucky Derby on May 4. He had travelled to the Twin Spires with a perfect four-for-four record that included victories in the G1 Wood Memorial and G2 Tampa Bay Derby.
Verrazano (3c More Than Ready – Enchanted Rock by Giant’s Causeway) will now be set for the G1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 28. “It feels good to have him back,” winning jockey Velazquez said. “Todd said to just to come out running and make them chase you. His ears were wagging every step of the way and, when I gave him a little nudge, he knew it was time to go.”
Let’s Go Stable purchased Verrazano out of the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $250,000 and he’s more than earned that back banking $951,300.
Pletcher trained More Than Ready and confirmed there are similarities between father and son. “Verrazano has a great disposition and a great mind,” he said. “For a big horse, he’s pretty agile and athletic and I think he can be effective at all different distances.”
Let’s Go Stable’s co-owner Brian Sullivan said the win was exactly what was required ahead of the Haskell. “It makes the next six months interesting with a sprint to see who’s Horse of the Year,” Sullivan predicted. “I think we’re squarely within that picture.”
Vinery will stand More Than Ready for a $99,000 (inc gst) service fee in 2013.
– Karl Patterson