Verrazano gallops out powerfully after half-mile breeze
Leading Kentucky Derby hopeful Verrazano breezed a half-mile in :49 3/5 at
Palm Meadows Sunday, recording his first work since his three-length conquest of
the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. The Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 6 is
next for the undefeated colt.
|Verrazano is gearing up for the Wood Memorial
(Tom Cooley Photography)
"Huge work from Verrazano this morning," co-owner
Let's Go Stable
tweeted, citing his "huge gallop-out."
The Todd Pletcher trainee went in company with Grade 2-winning older
stablemate Discreet Dancer, according to Daily Racing Form, and proceeded
to gallop out energetically through five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 and six furlongs
in 1:13 2/5.
"You could say it was a maintenance work," Pletcher told DRF, "except
that the gallop-out was really awesome. It was pretty impressive."
Verrazano has been utterly dominant in all three career starts. After a 7
3/4-length debut score at Gulfstream Park on January 1, the More Than Ready colt
demolished entry-level allowance foes at the same venue February 2 by 16 1/4
Stretching out to two turns for his stakes premiere at Tampa, Verrazano
stumbled at the start and grabbed a quarter, but still flaunted his class with
another convincing win.
Plans call for Verrazano to jet to New York on April 3, three days ahead of
the April 6 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. The 1 1/8-mile test will serve as his
final stepping stone to the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
Wood Memorial rival Normandy Invasion also graced the Palm Meadows worktab
Sunday, firing five-eighths in a bullet 1:00 1/5 for Chad Brown, best of 34
moves at the distance.
The son of Tapit was posting his second straight bullet, having blitzed the
same distance in :59 3/5 last Sunday.
Normandy Invasion was one of the buzz horses over the winter, thanks to his
visually impressive near-miss in the Grade 2 Remsen in November. But when
returning to action in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds, he compromised
his chances by a slow and awkward start, and ended up rallying belatedly for
fifth. He will try to regain his luster back at Aqueduct, the scene of his 9
1/4-length maiden romp as well as the Remsen.
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