Verrazano Wins Haskell Invitational
Verrazano took command at the three-quarter mile mark and blew away the rest of the field to win the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational by a race-record 9 3/4 lengths Sunday in the 46th annual running at Monmouth Park.
Sent off at even money, Verrazano allowed Preakness winner Oxbow to set the early fractions in a slow pace. Oxbow, sent off as the second choice at 5-2, led through the half-mile mark, with Verrazano a half-length back.
The two stakes winners went head-to-head for 200 yards, then Verrazano, ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher, pulled away from a fading Oxbow to win, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.68.
It was Pletcher's third winner at the Haskell and Velazquez's second win.
Power Broker, ridden by Rosie Napravnik and trained by six-time Haskell winner Bob Baffert, finished second. Baffert was attempting to win the Haskell for the fourth straight time. Micromanage finished third and Oxbow faded to fourth. Micromanage also is trained by Pletcher.
Verrazano, winner of $1.5 million, has won six times in seven starts, including the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth on June 16.