03/09/2013 7:11PM

Verrazano clear winner of Tampa Bay Derby

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Verrazano solidified his position as the likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby with a convincing 3 ½-length victory over the slow-breaking Java’s War in Saturday’s $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby. Falling Sky, who contested the early pace, finished a tiring and well-beaten third.

Verrazano, a son of More than Ready owned by the partnership of Lets Go Stable and Coolmore, earned 50 qualifying points for his third convincing win in as many starts. The 50 points figure to be enough to clinch his spot in this year’s Derby field.

With regular rider John Velazquez aboard, Verrazano broke in front, took back off the speedy Falling Sky on the opening turn then stalked the leader from the outside for six furlongs before proving his superiority through the stretch. Java’s War broke slowly then rallied belatedly to be second best in a field of 3-year-olds.

Tom Gaeta More than 1 year ago
And Away We Go! To the Derby. I hope he runs in the Wood, he can be an inspiration for all those Staten Island Sandy vitims.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So what?!He's gonna sit down now for close to 8 weeks and run the derby?Good luck
Gunner More than 1 year ago
JRV followed the Number One rule of riding - stay on the horse. 50 points. Now stay healthy.
Francisco Diaz More than 1 year ago
Still untested , damn !
Brad Solomon More than 1 year ago
Didn't touch the whip!