Top Colt Verrazano Switched to Ireland

One of the best three year-olds in North America last year, Verrazano (4h More Than Ready x Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway) will stay in work in 2014 and has been switched to the Ballydoyle stables of Aidan O’Brien. Winner of the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes and Grade I Haskell Invitational for leading US trainer Todd Pletcher, Verrazano has not been seen since finishing third in the Grade I Cigar Mile on November 30. “It makes sense for Verrazano to move to Europe as he has achieved so much already here,” Pletcher commented. “The owners [Magnier, Tabor and Smith] love to have their best horses run at Royal Ascot and a win there would be of great benefit to his stallion career.” Being by More Than Ready from a daughter of Giant’s Causeway would certainly give cause for optimism that Verrazano might enjoy the turf given both sires have produced numerous Grade I winners on the grass. Dermot Ryan, manager of Ashford Stud, said, “Being the best son of More Than Ready, who is doing so well as a sire in Australia, we feel that a European campaign would raise his profile when the time comes for him to shuttle there.”