NEW YORK — Verrazano has a chance to give trainer Todd Pletcher the favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
The unbeaten 3-year-old colt will seek his fourth consecutive win when he takes on nine rivals in the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct today – a final steppingstone to the Derby on May 4.
Verrazano is the overwhelming 4-5 favorite, with unbeaten Vyjack 4-1, Normandy Invasion 5-1 and the rest of the field ranging from 12-1 to 30-1.
“He’s been a rare horse who’s been able to go from a maiden on Jan. 1 to the Derby favorite on the first of April, which you don’t see very often,” Pletcher said of the horse named for the bridge connecting the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Pletcher has been over this bridge before.
This will be the fourth year in a row he’ll send out the Wood favorite, winning last year with Gemologist and in 2010 with Eskendereya, and finishing third with Uncle Mo in 2011.
GRAND NATIONAL: In Aintree, England, Katie Walsh will attempt to become the first female jockey to win the event when she rides Seabass today.
Walsh’s father Ted (trainer) and brother Ruby (jockey) won the National, and she’ll aim to complete the family set aboard Seabass.
“There’s a lot of fences to be jumped,” Walsh said. “You need a lot of luck.”
Since the Grand National stopped being a male-only event for jockeys in 1977, 15 women have entered the world’s most famous jumping race.