The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 9, 2013

Verrazano regains top spot in Derby rankings



In 2006, Barbaro became the first horse since 1956 to win the Derby off a five-week layoff. Some others: In 2007, Street Sense became the first Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and the first 2-year-old champion since Spectacular Bid in 1979 to win it; in 2008, Big Brown became the first horse to win from the No. 20 post; and in 2009 Mine That Bird joined Funny Cide (2003) as one of two geldings to win since 1929.

In the Wood, Verrazano defeated Normandy Invasion by three-quarters of a length, with Vyjack a neck farther back in third place. Normandy Invasion moved into the top 10 at No. 6, and Vyjack dropped to No. 8 after his first loss in five career starts.

Revolutionary is third, with Goldencents fourth courtesy of his Santa Anita Derby win on Saturday. Goldencents is trained by Doug O’Neill, who won the Derby and the Preakness last year with I’ll Have Another, and co-owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

Two promising Derby prospects are off the trail with knee injuries, San Felipe winner Hear the Ghost and Santa Anita Derby runner-up Flashback.

Here’s our Top 10:

1. Verrazano (Todd Pletcher, trainer; John Velazquez, jockey): Fended off two rivals in stretch of Wood Memorial to improve to 4-0. ... Will attempt to become eighth Derby winner with unbeaten record. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, May 4. ... Final Derby future wager odds: 7-1.

2. Orb (Shug McGaughey, John Velazquez): New rider possible since Velazquez is likely to stick with Verrazano if he’s healthy enough to ride after a weekend spill. ... Florida Derby winner takes four-race winning streak to Derby. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 13-1.

3. Revolutionary (Pletcher, Javier Castellano): Louisiana Derby winner gives Pletcher a strong No. 2. ... Son of War Pass has won three in a row. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 12-1.

4. Goldencents (Doug O’Neill, Kevin Krigger): Big effort to win Santa Anita Derby gives O’Neill a shot at second straight Derby win. ... Last African-American jockey to win Derby was Jimmy Winkfield in 1902. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 49-1.

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