Coolmore acquisition Verrazano (3c More Than Ready x Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway) stamped himself as arguably the best colt of his generation with a resounding victory in the Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Sunday.
The Todd Pletcher trained colt stalked the leader Oxbow, before proving himself to be in a class of his own as he raced away to win the 1 and 1/18th mile contest by nearly 10 lengths.
“He made a huge statement today,” said Pletcher.
“This was one of, if not the, most impressive win by any 3-year-old this year.”
Verrazano has the impressive record of six wins from seven starts with prizemoney topping $1.5 million and will be aimed next towards the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 24.
“He’ll ship to Saratoga tomorrow morning,” Pletcher said.
“The plan all along was to run in the Haskell, and if he showed he could handle distances of 1 1/8 miles plus, the Travers would be a logical next spot. The way he finished today over a track that’s been deep and demanding all week, with his ears pricked at the wire, showed he handled it pretty well. Those of us who’ve been around this horse have always had a lot of confidence in him and anyone who knows him isn’t really surprised by what they saw.”