02/02/2014 4:55PM

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.”

Lynne Veitch More than 1 year ago
I hope Joseph O'Brien rides him. I think Joseph is a top class rider. Loved him in Breeder's Cup. He'll be fabulous on Verrazano!!
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
Don't underestimate the new trainer; he could make a huge difference!
denali1 More than 1 year ago
I think Verrazano might do very well over there. His style and breeding suggest he will like the turf. If he handles going the counter clockwise there is no reason to believe he won't do well. Interesting move i must say lets see how it works out for them. He is with the best in O'brien so maybe he will bring him across the pond for the breeders Cup if all goes well. Best of luck!
Tom V More than 1 year ago
It will be interesting to see how he does in Obriens care.
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
He just needs to place or show at 8 - 9f in one or two races across the pond. I think he will.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Still makes me laugh how some people touted this horse like he was the next Cigar LOL.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Ha! Rookies :-)
Vince More than 1 year ago
given cigar was awful at 3 , I don't remember anyone doing that
Steve S More than 1 year ago
Every time he got pressed here in the states with a fast pace, he folded. .......Not unlike Game on Dude. He has no shot in Europe.
Nick Pavletic More than 1 year ago
What races in Europe have fast paces? Your comment makes no sense. Slow paces are the norm in Euro grass races which should fit this horse to a T!
Hail No More than 1 year ago
I think his point was, that V is a natural precociously fast horse, trying to "rate" him at those slow early European paces will not benefit him, it'll take it's toll on him just the same as if was allowed to wing it from the get go..
Mark More than 1 year ago
Mark More than 1 year ago
Hater. Period. Your immature bashing makes my case and makes you found foolish. TAP eclipses speak for themselves. Your opinion is comical. How about you win ONE grade 1. Lmao.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Lets see . Our grass horse are far inferior which is common knowledge . As is that TAP is primarily a dirt trainer. No dirt racing in Europe tommy . I am not knocking O'Brien I know he gets results as well. He has a BC juvy and marathon winner on dirt 1 grade one winner on dirt in us. One BC winner on santa Anita poly that played like turf ..all the rest on grass. Nice attempt . But fail. His grade 1's in us are because our turf shores do not compare. How many grade ones he have on dirt compared to pletcher ? Ohhh . Got it. Its no contest.
Walter More than 1 year ago
I'm not a Pletcher hater, I really have no opinion abt him. However, your argument is pretty ridiculous. Fact is, O'Brien is successful at what he does and has crossed the pond to win in the US. Pletcher is successful at what he does but has not gone to Europe and won anything.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Let's see..O' Brown multiple Group 1 winner in Eupore's drug free atmosphere as well as multiple Grade 1 wins in US. Todd...no European victories period. And when running out of test barns....I rest my case MARK. now as for Verrazano..turf bred. Turf running style. And European wins boost stud value. So once again..great move by Coolmore and nice upgradein horsemanship
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
then why did'nt they start him off to begin with in Europe if they're so smart and Obrien is so superior.Now he's missed all those great 3 year old classics over there.
tom More than 1 year ago
you do realize coolmore bought halfway into his 3yr old year to stand stud, right?