Racing News

Verrazano breezes half-mile for Tampa Bay Derby

  • Verrazano will stretch out in distance for his stakes debut on Saturday (Joe Ganley/EquiSport Photos)

Trainer Todd Pletcher had a very busy Sunday morning at Palm Meadows with more than a dozen stakes runners from his powerful stable hitting the worktab for upcoming stakes engagements.

Unbeaten Kentucky Derby hopeful Verrazano, gearing up for his stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, traveled a half-mile on the fast main track in :48 1/5.

"Todd was very happy with the work and 'V' is ready," owner Let's Go Stable tweeted.

The conqueror of his two starts by a combined margin of 24 lengths, the More Than Ready colt will stretch out to two turns for the first time at Tampa Bay.

Two of his projected Tampa Bay Derby rivals from other barns also posted works at Palm Meadows -- Falling Sky and Dynamic Sky, the respective one-two from the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis on February 2.

Falling Sky fired a bullet five furlongs in :59 3/5 for trainer John Terranova, best 21 moves at the distance, while Dynamic Sky covered the same ground in 1:01 4/5 for Mark Casse.

Back among the Pletcher brigade, champion Shanghai Bobby negotiated five-eighths in 1:00 4/5 while being kept on edge for his next start in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 30.

A son of Harlan's Holiday, Shanghai Bobby was the undefeated Eclipse champion two-year-old of 2012 following his victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on November 3. He suffered his first defeat finishing second in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on January 26 to Itsmyluckyday, who is also training up to the Florida Derby.

Revolutionary, coming off a dramatic score in the Grade 3 Withers, took a half-mile spin in :49 4/5. The Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 30 is emerging as his likely stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby.

Pletcher's trio of candidates for the Grade 2 Rebel likewise limbered up for their possible trip to Oaklawn for March 16.

Multiple Grade 1-placed Capo Bastone, a gritty allowance winner in his first start for Pletcher, went four furlongs in :49 2/5.

Delhomme, who concluded his juvenile campaign with a close third in the Grade 2 Remsen, and undefeated Park City, who ground out an allowance score in his three-year-old bow, each strode five panels in an identical 1:00 4/5.