02/02/2013 5:03PM

Gulfstream Park: Verrazano earns shot at Kentucky Derby prep with dominant victory

Courtney Heeney
Trainer Todd Pletcher says his 3-year-old Verrazano, ridden by John Velazquez, will run next in a graded stakes after easily winning a first-level allowance Saturday.

Verrazano wowed not only the crowd but his trainer, Todd Pletcher, as well when cruising to as easy-as-can-be 16 1/4-length victory over Eton Blue in Saturday’s fifth race at Gulfstream Park, carded at a mile under first-level optional $75,000 claiming conditions. Verrazano was never asked to run by jockey John Velazquez in what proved to be little more than a paid workout. It was the second one-sided win in as many starts for Verrazano.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“That was about as impressive as you’ll see one run,” said Pletcher. “We were anticipating a good race, hoping for a good race, were encouraged going into the race and even more so coming out.”

Pletcher said Verrazano, a half-brother to El Padrino, will try graded stakes company for the first time in his next start but is not exactly sure where just yet.

“He’s obviously earned the right to step up into a big one, but we kind of have to figure out the timing of it,” said Pletcher. “We’re a little close to the Fountain of Youth, so it probably won’t be there. The timing of it might just force us to make a move with him somewhere. We’ll just have to see where that will be.”

Edward More than 1 year ago
Looked like a two horse race on a racetrack with few horses. I like to see this horse go to the Blue Grass in Keenland. Very nice looking animal that is for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bring him north for the Gotham, then if he does well run in the Wood. I think these owners make too much of the process. It was so much easier in the old days.
jttf More than 1 year ago
i think siegel just stated he ran a 105 beyer and may go in swale (no derby points).
jay More than 1 year ago
Every year, we see horses win big going a mile in allowance races with small fields, especially at Gulfstream Park, who come up short against better horses or when they stretch out How good could the opposition have been? He was 1-5 for a reason. I think it's prudent to withhold judgement on Verrazano until he steps up in class and distance.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Sounds exactly like Itsmyluckyday just before he knocked off Shanghai Bobby. Think I'll get 5-1 next time?
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
I remember Big Brown not fitting your theory
Anthony DelVecchio More than 1 year ago
Pretty sure that is the point of this article as well as the comments from Todd say the same thing. I don't think Pletcher is thinking much of this horse at Classic distances, if he did we would have seen him run in a different class this race. Revolutionary is the horse I would look at. That was a super impressive win yesterday
Bryan Tripoli More than 1 year ago
DRF... A tip for future derby candidate articles: it would be nice of u guys to tell us who the sire of the horse is. Given this is a derby candidate many of us wonder pedigree wise if he's bred to run 1 1/4. It sucks having to leave the page to look up something as basic as the winner's sire IMO.
Vincent Silos More than 1 year ago
Go to Equibase. Lots of freestuff. This one has Northern Dancer top and bottom
mrm More than 1 year ago
The Bloodhorse articles allow you to click on the horses name which takes you to a link that gives you the horses Bio including the pedigree.
Old timer More than 1 year ago
Amen, brother. Plus the time of the race not shown either. This horse has a lot to prove yet. Likewise with Flashback winning the Lewis.... he walks through the first half and beats three other horses. What does that really tell you?
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
More Than Ready out of a Giant's Causeway mare. I'd say 1 1/4th is a bit unlikely, but he could turn out to be a really good middle-distance horse, maybe on turf down the road.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Have to agree.it always amazes me how so many articles are missing key elements or just plain wrong,reminds me of when some drf writers had articles doubting Wise Dan would be as effective in turf not taking into account the fact that his sire was producing some nice turfers and his dam was by south african super horse wolf power one of the best turf milers ever and he was by flirting around a European turf sprinter champion and he was by Round Table a turf champ in the us.but I guess breeding is secondary to drf.
Bryan Tripoli More than 1 year ago
1 1/16 mile races are even worse the finish line is just past the 1/16 pole making the stretch run barely a furlong. Kills closers.
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
he only ran a mile, second wire not the first
Bryan Tripoli More than 1 year ago
Every time I watch replays from gulfstream I wonder why they designed the layout of the track the way they did.. Passing the 1/4 pole midway on the turn and the 3/16 pole is on the turn also! Might be the shortest stretch besides the bullrings. Not that it affected the outcome of this race.. But still it bothers me
Jordan More than 1 year ago
No doubt he's a serious talent. The potential is through the roof. But he still has much to prove. Although they went a solid clip up front, it was a perfect setup for Verrazano. He will ultimately meet bigger and better fields in which he will need to work to get such position, have horses alongside him when in a spot, have quality speed to run down, have quality stalkers to skirmish with, and after all that might have to deal with some late runners. Flashback will face the same new challenges in his future races. Breeding is a bit iffy for 10 furlongs. More than Ready was more a miler type, but he was a creditable 4th in the Derby. The dam is out of Giant's Causeway, but the 2nd dam is out of Mr. Prospector, not necessarily meaing speed but not exactly screaming classics. On the track, the 2nd dam was more a miler/9 furlong horse.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
More than ready was at best a miler who was put on the derby trail and ran ok in the derby but it messed him up.has a sire he is much more a turf influence than dirt.ha for Giants causeway on the bottom that's more turf although he ran 2nd in the breeders cup has produced a few decent dirt horses.as for Mr prospector he was a speed horse and definitely injects class into his progeny although some of his offspring are unsound,when bred to the right mares they could stay well too.one of the best derby nicks is northern dancer on mr prospector.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Ship to Santa Anita. Only two horses out there. FLASHBACK and Goldencents. Probably looking at Fairgrounds as they Dido with El Padrino.
Philip Renne More than 1 year ago
Gotham makes the most sense. They could also do the Rebel.
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
UAE derby,