The 139th Kentucky Derby did not necessarily go the way it was expected to go for Verrazano, who had been one of the hot horses leading up to the First Saturday In May. Verrazano ended up being one of the victims of the hot pace set by eventual Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice, and finished a disappointing 14th in the race. In fact, he never really ended up being much of a factor at Churchill Downs, which also seemed to be part of the problem, since the track came up wet and sticky on Derby Day.
Well, this weekend, Verrazano rebounded nicely off that disappointment and scored an emphatic win in the Grade 3 Pegasus this Sunday at Monmouth Park. Verrazano took the lead in the race right out of the gate and never looked back, eventually recording a nearly ten-length victory. Of course, part of that result came because Itsmyluckyday, another Derby fizzler, was pulled up by jockey Mike Smith just as he was moving to challenge Verrazano's lead. The hope is that Itsmyluckyday's injury won't be a serious one. Even with that, you cannot discount Verrazano's win in the Pegasus, because he did what he was expected to do and win, while essentially controlling every aspect of the race. It was a dominating performance and hopefully, will be a large springboard to getting Verrazano back into the three-year-old picture this summer.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has already said that he is planning on Verrazano pointing to the next big three-year-old event at Monmouth Park, the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational on July 28. The Haskell is always the highlight of the summer on the Jersey Shore and this year's edition should prove to be another classic, especially with the inclusion of a rejuvenated Verrazano. For a video of the Pegasus, click on this link: http://www.drf.com/news/monmouth-park-verrazano-romps-pegasus-itsmyluckyday-injured.
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