Racing News

Verrazano gallops out powerfully after half-mile breeze

  • Verrazano is gearing up for the Wood Memorial (Tom Cooley Photography)

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.

"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 lengths.

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.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

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Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

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Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

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Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
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Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

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