Race of the Week 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Verrazano Lives up to Hype in Tampa Bay Derby

A very eager Verrazano lived up to all the hype by easily dispatching a very talented G2 Tampa Bay Derby field. Breaking from the six hole under John Velazquez, the strapping More Than Ready colt stumbled slightly leaving the gate. Unfazed, he quickly got into the bridle to go after the lead with Falling Sky. He fought Velazquez during the early stages of the race, but once Velazquez guided him off the rail, he settled nicely and moved up to take the lead away from the Sam F. Davis winner. Turning for home, he easily pulled away to stop the clock in 1.43:96 for the mile and a sixteenth affair while being ridden out.
Java’s War, who typically takes up a nice stalking position, was way out of it early and racing in last. He closed strongly to run past Falling Sky and finish second, 3 ½ lengths behind still undefeated Verrazano. Falling Sky, who pressed Verrazano with every stride, gave way to finish third. Dynamic Sky, the Sam F. Davis runner-up, again checked in right behind Falling Sky to grab a few more Kentucky Derby points while finishing fourth.
Previously undefeated Purple Egg was forwardly placed early but dropped out of it about half way through the race. After being within a length and a half of the lead at the half mile call, he dropped back and finished ninth and last, beaten by 28 lengths.
Verrazano pretty much assured himself a spot in this year’s Kentucky Derby field with today’s win which was worth 50 points. Java’s War made a big leap up the board with his new total of 22 points. Falling Sky also jumped up a bit and now has a total of 20 points, and Dynamic Sky added 5 points for his fourth place finish for a total of 13 points.
It is safe to say that Verrazano quelled any doubts anyone, including myself, might have had about his abilities. Too often we see young colts take the track by storm, put in a couple of dazzling efforts, and then fall short when they step up in class. That was certainly not the case for the talented Todd Pletcher trainee today at Tampa Bay Downs. He took right to the track’s quirky surface, something that will only aid him at Churchill Downs as the two tracks have similar surfaces. So long as he continues to progress in the same manner, his brilliant performances will be tough to beat. 


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Older Comments about Verrazano Lives up to Hype in Tampa Bay Derby...

If one can compare Uncle Mo to Seattle Slew coming into last year, why not Verrazano to anyone. He sure looks good to me. Sure a lot of things can and do happen when they get there and on the way, but waking up every morning isn't a guarantee for anyone either. Without a dream, you don't have much.
vz is a very nice horse,but let us please take a deep breath and count to 10.you cannot be serious,this horse now being called great.he beat a maiden field,where only 1 horse has come back to win.in his 2nd race at GP he beat a 4 horse field.the horse he beat in that race by 16 lengths.he also ran in th TB derby.by most recent reports,he just finished the race. a non descript longsho off of a long layoff made a nice move and was gaining.the horse who was on the pace ran 3rd.VZ. very nice horse,but please do not for 1 second say he is great.not yet,let him prove it
When and IF a colt comes along that in ANYWAY rivals the best son of BOLD RULER, that one will shatter track records, have a flawless effortless gait.....This is not the second coming...Easy Goer was closer but maxed out in his brillance
If this horse is to be compared to anyone it should not be a TC winner like Big Red, BUT I would say he could be compared with Holy Bull. He gets on the front end and it is all business from there, Catch me if you can!
With a three figure speed number, this horse should be in everyone's top tier of Derby- 10 furlong list. Plus Johnny V !!
Possibly, but it takes the 9 furlong test to discover that...Fla Derby? probably
Gp park race 7 sorry nernie the jet not race 1
Well then, I'm one of the overly impressed. Bring on the pressure. I think this colt can handle it.
This horse is trained by Todd Pletcher....it's only a matter of time till he is injured.
i like to talk but i like to bet moor i need winners any winners
ok so not to say I told you so but..2 months ago yep 2 prior to hid maiden score I told all of you this horse is a FREAK.The comparison to big red whom I hold in rarified air is unfair, to red that is seeing how he lost his 1st race .Verazzano is hopefully a shot in the arm for our industry and will capture the non horse peoples attention. Instead of attacking this horse as many of you did prior to this race embrace him and applaud his connections (Pletcher) for stopping on this guy mid summer yes he was training I'm Toga realizing he was not a 2 year old that was ready sending him home and starting over.What you all don't realize is that is part og Pletchers genius.I thought about everyone talking about Pletcher being 1-31 in the derby and it made me think and look back at those 31 .I dare anyone to tell me which one of them should have won and didnt.He has yet to have a true legit favorite in May.Eskendreya was his best shot and he bowed amd thats just horse racing.Good luck all you haters finding something to say this year im sure you will.PS a sidenote Discreet Dancer breezed the last 3 times woth guess who..yep Verazzano and Fort Larned or not he was a gimmie and i told u all that Wednesday.
beyers mean very little to begin with and in the developing three year old next to nothing. I remember the hype on Bellamy Road and his climbing %median...we all stayed away in droves.
do y guys have any winners to day
Racing fans like drayton can be so impressionable at times.
im back from the track i hope y guys all win today
I still over many doubts about this overhyped horse.
That was Devil's Bag Woody was talking about.
Far too early as this one never has been tested. I recall Stephens commented on the THEN leader of the three year old crop..."I want to see what happens when he is tested and the rider has to give him a pop....Then we will know what he is really made of: ..in that case NOT MUCH as he folded up several times early in this three year old season to Darn that Alarm and Dr. Carter.
WAY too eary to compare Verrazano to ANY TC winner. The comparision is very stupid. However, I will say this: This Todd trainee truly is special.... He has the potential to be one of the best modern day horses. Right up there with Curlin, Big Brown, etc.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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