Racing News

Coolmore acquires interest in Verrazano

  • The undefeated Verrazano romped by 16 1/4 lengths last Saturday (Joe Ganley/EquiSport Photos)

Let's Go Racing announced Thursday that the Coolmore connections of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith have purchased an interest in Verrazano and will race the exciting three-year-old in partnership. Irish-based Coolmore also owns a 50 percent interest in two-year-old champion and Kentucky Derby hopeful Shanghai Bobby.

A well-bred son of More Than Ready, Verrazano romped to a 7 3/4-length decision when making his career debut in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park on January 1. The bay colt came back last Saturday to thrash entry-level allowance rivals at a one-turn mile, drawing off to a 16 1/4-length decision, and earned a superb 104 BRIS Speed rating.

Those impressive performances stamped Verrazano as a serious candidate for this year's Kentucky Derby. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt is being pointed toward his stakes bow, which could come in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 2 or the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9.

Verrazano is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Enchanted Rock, whose first foal, El Padrino, captured last year's Grade 2 Risen Star and finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby. Enchanted Rock hails from the successful broodmare Chic Shirine, a Grade 1-winning daughter of Mr. Prospector.