became the latest buzz horse on the Kentucky Derby trail when he
finished a time zone ahead of five allowance runners in only his
second start. Settling off of the flank of pacesetter Gunderman,
the large, bay colt appeared to take one stride for every two of the
leader. Roused after a half mile, Verrazano effortlessly pulled
away from the allowance field in a Secretariat-like move. Verrazano's
jaw-dropping 16 ¼ length score on February 2 wowed not only racing
fans, but the powerhouse Coolmore racing team, who purchased an
interest in the colt just days later from Let's Go Stable. In what
amounted to a paid workout, the dark bay colt traveled a mile in
1:34.80, barely a second off of the Gulfstream Park track record of 1:33.71.
should be noted that Gunderman recently finished second to the
Heart - Grandestofall, by Grand Slam) and beat Cerro, another hyped
Derby horse, by over four lengths in that race. Cerro
(Mr. Greeley - Ballette (IRE), by Giant's Causeway) came back to beat
allowance foes by 2 /12 lengths in an 1 1/8 mile contest.
Than Ready - Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway) was purchased for
at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale by Let's
Go Stable. Unveiled by Todd
Pletcher on New Year's Day, Verrazano won his debut towering
over a full field of maidens by 7 ¾ lengths. He sat about a length
off of the pace, zipped three wide around the turn and motored home
in 1:16.48 for 6 ½ furlongs, without ever being asked. He's now 2-2
and has earned $51,300.
sire More Than Ready was an exciting juvenile who won his first five
starts. Starting in April of his two year old season, the son of
Southern Halo made his announcement on the racing scene with a 7 ½
length victory going 4 ½ furlongs. By the end of July, he had
already raced five times, including victories in the Tremont (G-3)
and Sanford Stakes (G-2). More Than Ready went off form for his
final two starts of the season, finishing third in the Belmont
Futurity and fifth in the Champagne Stakes (G-1).
Than Ready won the Hutcheson Stakes at three and was runner-up in two
other Kentucky Derby preps. In the 2000 Kentucky Derby, More Than
Ready pressed a swift early pace and was the only pace presser to
stick around when the real running started. He finished fourth to
Fusaichi Pegasus. More Than Ready raced six more times and recorded
stud, More Than Ready has been a useful, but somewhat overlooked sire
in the United States and is one of the top sires in Australia. His
turf/synthetic track runners don't have distance limitations.
However, More Than Ready's dirt offspring, especially in the United
States, are best up to 1 1/16 – 1 1/8 miles. He's sired two dirt
stakes winners at 1 ¼ miles, the listed winner Ready for Roses and
Dixie Ready a Grade 2 winner in Argentina. Similar to Verrazano,
Dixie Ready is out of a mare from the Northern Dancer sire line.
Record: 17-7-4-1 ($1,026,229)
– King's Bishop (G-1) 7F
- Sanford Stakes (G-2) 6F
- Hutcheson Stakes (G-2) 7F
- Tremont Stakes (G-3) 5.5F
- Flash Stakes 5F
- WHAS-11 Stakes 5F
- Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G-1) 1 1/6 miles
- Vosburgh Stakes (G-1) 7F
- Dwyer Stakes (G-2) 1 1/6 miles
- Louisiana Derby (G-2) 1 1/16 miles
- Futurity Stakes (G-1) 1 mile
dam Enchanted Rock (Giant's
Causeway - Chic Shirine, by Mr. Prospector)
finished out of the money in her only start. She's a young, promising
broodmare. Her first foal El Padrino (by Pulpit) created some buzz of
his own on last year's Triple Crown trail. Owned and trained by the
same connections as his younger brother, El Padrino raced three
times at two, including a third place finish in the Remsen Stakes
(G-2). He started his three year old season with a two-length win
over eventual Florida Derby hero Take Charge Indy. The large,
chestnut colt won the Risen Star, then placed fourth in the Florida
Derby. He endured a rough trip in Kentucky and finished 13.
Rock has a two year old filly, La Madrina (by Tapit), a yearling
filly by Pulpit and is also in foal to Pulpit.
female family is loaded with talented stars and the mares of this
distaff line are excellent producers. Verrazano's dam Enchanted Rock
has six half siblings. Two, full siblings to each other, Tara Roma
and Waldoboro, are Grade 2 winners. The aforementioned Tara Roma won
a stakes race at 1 ¼ miles and bore Go For Wand (1 1/8 miles)
heroine Serra Lake and the multiple Grade 3 winner Cappuccino. Tara
Roma is also the grand-dam of Salvadore Mile (G-3) winner Coal Play.
Rock’s half-sister Flying Passage bore the Grade 2 turf router
Hungry Island and Hal's Hope Stakes (1 mile) hero Soaring Empire.
Another half-sister, Chic Corrine, gave us the stakes winning fillies
Somali Lemonade (Jessamine Stakes (1 1/16 miles),
Rasta Farian (H.B.P.A. Stakes 1 mile 70Y) and stakes placed Chic Joy.
Still another half-sister is the grand-dam of the multiple Grade 1
winning turf router Al Khali, winner of the 1 3/16 miles Bowling
Green and runner-up (three times) in the 1 ¼ miles Sword Dancer
second dam Chic Shirine (Mr.
Prospector - Too Chic, by Blushing Groom (FR)) won
the Grade 1 Ashland. She’s a full sister to the Champion Older Mare
Queena, dam of the Grade 1 winning sire Brahms and Grade 2 winner
third dam Too Chic was a Grade 1 heroine and equaled the Belmont
track record of 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.40. To top off this fantastic
female family are Verrazano's
and fifth dams Remedia and Monade, who are blue hens (superior
is a member of the Lowe's Female Family 13-d. If he were to win one
of the Triple Crown races, he'd be the first horse from this family
to succeed in the classics.
damsire Giant’s Causeway was nicknamed “The Iron Horse,” for
his exploits over the English, Irish and French racecourses. The
sensational colt came within a flared nostril of winning the
Breeders’ Cup Classic in his only start on dirt, racing over a
left-handed course in an unfamiliar setting. The 2000 European Horse
Of The Year won from about 6 ½ furlongs to 1 5/16 miles (10.5
furlongs). He competed in ten Group 1 Stakes and was victorious in
six of them.
Causeway has upheld his Iron Horse moniker at stud. He is a son of
the world’s most expensive sire Storm Cat out of Maria’s Storm, a
Grade 1 winning mare by Rahy. Giant’s Causeway is in demand in both
the US and his shuttle country, Australia. He was leading US sire in
2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2010, he was recognized as a Classic
chef-de-race, which indicates that he passes stamina attributes to
Causeway hasn’t yet cracked the top 20 on the Broodmare Sire list
as he’s still a young stallion. As a damsire, he’s represented by
18 stakes winners. One, the Irish-bred Planteur, has been successful
at 1 ¼ miles. Since Giant’s Causeway is noted for contributing
stamina to his offspring, it isn’t a stretch to assume that he will
do the same as a broodmare sire.
Record: 13-9-4-0 ($3,078,989)
International (G-1) 1 5/16 miles
- Irish Champion Stakes (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
- Eclipse Stakes (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
- St. James Palace (G-1) 1 mile
– Sussex Stakes (G-1) 1 mile
- Prix de la Salamandre (G-1) 1400M (about 6.5F)
– Gladness Stakes (G-3) 7F
- Futurity Stakes (G-3) 7F
– Breeders' Cup Classic (G-1) 1 ¼ miles
- Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G-1) 1 mile
- Irish 2000 Guineas (G-1) 1 mile
- English 2000 Guineas (G-1) 1 mile
phenomenal Mr. Prospector is Verrazano's
second damsire. Mr. Prospector is a dual Chef –de-race who passes
brilliant speed and classic stamina to his offspring. Similar to Mr.
Prospector, Blushing Groom, Verrazano's
third damsire, offers brilliant speed and classic stamina to his
Than Ready has been bred to seven daughters of Giant's Causeway. Four
foals have started and two are winners. None own blacktype.
has a conformation and gait comparable to his older brother El
Padrino. He is a large, well-conformed colt with a slanted shoulder
and powerful hindquarters. His gait shows average extension with
slightly high knee action. Verrazano's leg extension is about
average, his large size enables a high cruising speed. Verrazano has
a stamina oriented pedigree. His sire's offspring win at all distances. Verrazano's distaff line is a
mixture of classic stamina and speed. The colt's pedigree indicates
that he should handle 1 ¼ miles. Of concern is the fact that he
didn't race as a two year old and that he'll be rushed to compete in
the Kentucky Derby. Recently, late-developing colts who didn't race
at two have been instrumental in the Triple Crown races, so perhaps
it's just a matter of time before one of them wins the Kentucky
may follow in the hoofprints of Bodemeister and Nehro, two colts who
were unraced at two and were close runner-ups in the Kentucky Derby.
The sensational Curlin was unraced at two, yet finished third in the
Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness Stakes and finished second in a thriling, historical running of the Belmont Stakes. The
courageous Paynter didn't make his debut until February 18, yet
barely missed winning the Belmont Stakes.
hasn't been announced where Verrazano will make his next start. He
could follow the course of El Padrino to the Risen Star or enter the
Fountain of Youth. Both races may come up a little too soon for the
Pletcher training regimen. Other options are the Gotham, Tampa Bay
Derby, or Rebel Stakes. Whichever path he takes, Verrazano is a
colt to add to your watch list.