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.