FORMER USA champion colt Bluegrass Cat’s record seven-length winning margin in the 2006 Grade 1 Haskell Invitational will come under threat this weekend when More Than Ready colt Verrazano tackles the $1m New Jersey feature.
Inaugurated in 1968, the Haskell boasts a tremendous honour roll including Big Brown, Rachel Alexandra, Holy Bull, Forty Niner and Belmont Stakes hero Bet Twice.
No horse won the race by further than Kentucky Derby runner-up Bluegrass Cat who gave trainer Todd Pletcher his first Haskell win.
There is therefore so no small amount of irony in that modern day dazzler Verrazano is also from the Pletcher stable.
On top of that, Bluegrass Cat was owned by WinStar Farm (KY) who stand Verrazano’s sire when he is away from Vinery on northern hemisphere stud duties.
Verrazano is no stranger to amassing huge margins; his five wins (from six starts) have come with combined total of 37-lens including his most recent 9 1/4-lens victory in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth where Saturday’s Haskell will be staged.
Closer to home, More Than Ready’s new season is sure to follow off where he left his triumphant 2012/13 with a number of promising types waiting in the wings.
One of those is the exquisitely bred Killcareless, a daughter of the stakes-placed Climatic whose grand-dam is none other than the epic broodmare Shantha’s Choice.
Killcareless races in the More Joyous colours of John Singleton under the care of Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker.
The filly showed an electric turn of foot to win her first and only barrier trial to date at Warwick Farm last week.
“She’s shown me plenty and I think she’s got a future,” Baker said.
“It was a nice win, she’s got a fantastic pedigree and plenty of upside.”
Baker said Killcareless is likely to trial again next month before making her race debut.
July is also the time that Singleton’s champion mare More Joyous flies out of Sydney bound for the UK and a visit to the unbeaten Frankel on a southern hemisphere-time cover.