10/29/2013 1:00PM

Verrazano to be retired after Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 1 winner Verrazano, shown at Santa Anita on Tuesday, will make his final start Friday in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Verrazano, a two-time Grade 1-winning 3-year-old, will make the final start of his career in Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita and will stand the 2014 breeding season at Ashford Stud, the American division of Ireland’s Coolmore stud, it was announced Tuesday.

Verrazano has won 6 of 8 starts and earned $1.56 million. The best race of his career came in the $1 million Haskell Invitational, a race he won by a record 9 3/4 lengths at Monmouth Park in July. His 116 Beyer Speed Figure in that race is the highest earned by a 3-year-old this year. Verrazano is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Verrazano, a half-brother to the graded stakes winner El Padrino, also won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, and the Grade 3 Pegasus. He was not a factor in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 14th, and flopped as the 8-5 favorite in the Travers, finishing seventh.

“Verrazano has given us some magical days, none more so than that 9 3/4-length romp in the Haskell,” said Bryan Sullivan, managing partner of Let’s Go Stables.

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: Fields with DRF odds and comments]

Verrazano will join fellow 3-year-old Shanghai Bobby as new additions to the Ashford stud stallion program.
“Verrazano is a very welcome addition to the roster here at Ashford, which will be the strongest we’ve ever assembled,” said Charlie O’Connor, Ashford’s director of sales. “Verrazano’s brilliance is there for all to see, but he’s also got the pedigree and looks to match. He’s very exciting.”