02/02/2014 3:55PM

Grade 1 winner Verrazano to race in Europe for O'Brien

Mark Wyville/EQUI-PHOTO
Verrazano wins the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational by 9 3/4 lengths at Monmouth Park in July.

Verrazano, a multiple Grade 1-winning 3-year-old in the United States in 2013, will remain in training this year but will be sent to trainer Aidan O’Brien in Ireland.

The horse, who raced in partnership with Let’s Go Stable and the Coolmore connections of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier, will race solely for Coolmore in Ireland. It was expected that Verrazano would be retired at the end of his 3-year-old season to stand at stud at Ashford Stud in Kentucky before the change of heart.

“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 there,” Dermot Ryan, stud manager for Ashford Stud, said in a statement.

Bryan Sullivan, who heads Let’s Go Stable with his brother-in-law, Kevin Scatuorchio, told Daily Racing Form that his stable no longer owns Verrazano.

“Coolmore was open for us to stay in,” Sullivan said. “We thought about it, but for us, it was a matter of we’ve had fun, we need to take our chips off the table. We parted amicably. We wish the horse the best, but we are no longer involved with the horse.”

Verrazano, a son of More Than Ready, won 6 of 10 races as a 3-year-old, including the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, in which he recorded the largest margin of victory – 9 3/4 lengths – in the 46-year history of the race. Verrazano also won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He finished his 3-year-old season with a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.

Todd Pletcher, who trained Verrazano, said in the release, “It makes sense for Verrazano to move to Europe, as he has achieved so much already here, the owners love to have their best horses run at Royal Ascot, and a win there would be of great benefit to his stallion career.”