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Aug 15, 2014

Verrazano retired with lameness


Lexington, KY ( - Former Wood Memorial winner Verrazano has been retired from racing due to lameness. The 4-year-old colt will stand at stud at his owners' Ashford Stud.

"Verrazano was found to be lame after the Eclipse and although it is not a significant injury, time would not permit us to have him ready for the Breeders' Cup so the decision has been made to retire him," said trainer Aidan O'Brien. "It's very disappointing as he ran two lovely races on his first two starts for us and we had been looking forward to a great season with him."

Verrazano, owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith, became one of the 2013 Kentucky Derby favorites off his victory in the Wood Memorial. The colt, formerly trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, finished 14th in the 139th Run for the Roses won by Orb.

"Verrazano is a striking individual to a look at: a really gorgeous horse," commented Pletcher. "He always impressed me, both in the mornings and in the afternoons. His run in the Haskell was a monstrous effort. He just blew them away that day."

Previously owned by Let's Go Stables, Verrazano won the 2013 Haskell at Monmouth Park by a record 9 1/4 lengths but finished seventh as the 8-5 in the Travers behind Will Take Charge. The colt closed 2013 with a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Mile and third in the Cigar Mile. Verrazano had three races in England this year and retires with six wins in 13 starts for $1,878,013.

"Sad to see Verrazano's 4 year-old year cut short. With his pedigree, looks, and brilliance on the track we look forward to seeing his babies," tweeted his former owner.

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