EXCITING More Than Ready colt Verrazano has been installed early favourite for this year’s Kentucky Derby ahead of his stakes debut on March 9 in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby (8.5f) in Florida.

The Todd Pletcher-trained galloper remains undefeated in his only two starts to date including an awesome 16 1/4-lens romp at Gulfstream Park in the sunshine state at his most recent outing after which Verrazano was purchased by global breeding operation Coolmore.

Pletcher has enjoyed enormous success with More Than Ready and his progeny including a memorable double-sweep of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile via the filly More Than Regal and current Vinery’s sire son Pluck.

More Than Ready himself finished fourth behind Fusaichi Pegasus in the 2000 Kentucky Derby before finishing third in the Belmont Stakes in New York.
The only horse to complete the Tampa Bay Derby/Kentucky Derby double was Street Sense who won both races in 2007.

Verrazano is currently priced at $6 to win the Churchill Downs classic set down for May 4 ahead of Flashback, a son of Dubleo’s close genetic relative Tapit.