10/29/2013 2:00PM

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.”

not impressed More than 1 year ago
Damn I called this one after the Haskell. Coolmore will find a way to export him after a couple seasons...they're good at that. Would have preferred to see him run next year.
Cameron More than 1 year ago
FrankDimon More than 1 year ago
brilliance is too strong of a word.
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
Well at least he won't be retired due to injury. The usual protocol for Todd Pletcher horses.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
How do we know that an injury has not begun already. Pletcher's vets might have picked up on a problem, one that might get worse in time. Best to retire the horse before the injury becomes apparent,
mikey More than 1 year ago
The injury story will come out next week ???
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
That is awful. Got to feel for these horses who want to run and have to stop their career's due to breeding rights. The industry needs to step-up and set some rules.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
That is exactly what has been done in Harness Racing by Jeff Gural as noted in my post directly below yours.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
This is where the sport needs to follow the lead of Jeff Gural and expand on the policies he implemented for his Harness tracks (The Meadowlands, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs) that now basically require top horses to return for their four year old season as any horse by a stallion who was four or younger when conceived is ineligible for all major stakes (except the Hambletonian) at tracks Gural owns and also at Woodbine and Mohawk (including The North American Cup, arguably the most important event for three year old pacers). This already has had its desired effect as virtually every top three year old from last year returned for their four year old seasons and have created some of the best races seen in years at the very top level. As I would do it, I would expand on that and make it so horses sired by stallion who were FIVE or younger when conceived would be ineligible for ALL Graded stakes events, including the Breeders' Cup and Triple Crown races, making it so top thoroughbreds have to race through their five year old campaigns. This, especially if coupled with a phase-out of Lasix over five years would help strengthen the breed considerably as horses would have to be bred for stamina and durability over speed and precociousness. That over time also would likely force trainers to change their ways on training horses and perhaps even see the Breeders' Cup Classic and Distaff both lengthened to 1 5/8 Miles (the distance they should be run at as it would force a lot of other major stakes to be lengthened with it). This would help strengthen the sport in the long run, although many who would stand to lose because they would not be able to adjust would of course oppose it.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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W.G. More than 1 year ago
Sounds like Louise is a BOT or had her account HACKED!!
john p More than 1 year ago
it's all about the money! money! money!!!!!!
Mark More than 1 year ago
Hail No More than 1 year ago
But as expected
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Winner of most ovbious and un-needed statement of the year. ... A "TAP" horse that did well as a two year old, showed promise as 3 year old. And then flattened out, with excuses. He did show signs of talent, but who didn't see this coming
Diana Levy More than 1 year ago
Didn't race as a 2 year old. He actually was one of the more "heavily" campaigned TAP 3 year olds in recent memory with 8 starts and then still in training to make it to the BC for a 9th (in theory) so far. Very few, in any in my memory, Pletcher Gulfstream stars make it through the year. So while not the least bit surprised that he will be retiring at 3, he did better than the majority of highly hyped Pletcher winter stars...Violence, Eskenderaya, Shaghai Bobby, Algorithms to name just a couple
AzLimitPoker More than 1 year ago
This is another perfect example of why the sport is dying...remember when Skip Away would run and never duck anyone....Cigar, Silver Charm, Gentlemen, etc...now you baby a horse along and after his 3 year old season off to stud and produce mediocre babies at best...this horse is just another mismanaged Pletcher horse...the list of his peak at 2 and retire at 3 horses is getting old real fast.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
This horse V was not mismanaged by Pletcher. 6 wins in 8 starts, 1 .5 plus in earnings is clearly not mismanaged.
John Howland More than 1 year ago
And he didn't peak at 2.
AzLimitPoker More than 1 year ago
So from your standards Shanghai Bobby wasn't mismanaged either...1.5 million in earnings from two races and one of them the favorite broke down...he only raced at 3 and retires him and if he is so great than why not run him against the best in the classic rather than a race filler like the mile where the average golden cents will dust him off the track