Verrazano did not race as a 2-year-old, but he has been dominant as a 3-year-old, moving him to the top of all Kentucky Derby odds lists.
The Todd Pletcher trainee dominated the Tampa Bay Derby March 9 and then held on for a huge win in the Wood Memorial April 6.
He heads a list of the top Kentucky Derby contenders for the 2013 edition of the Run For the Roses.
Online racebook Bovada had Verrazano at 4/1 odds as of April 23. He was the first betting choice - and likely morning line favorite in Derby betting - ahead of Orb at 11/2 and Goldencents at 6/1.
The colt had been the early betting favorite in the Derby future pools, closing at 7-1 in Pool 3.
"The undefeated son of More Than Ready is perhaps trainer Pletcher's best shot of picking up his second Derby win," said Michael Dempsey, handicapping expert at USRacebook.com. Pletcher won in 2010 with Super Saver.
He will try to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without running as a 2-year-old. And he will aim to be the first Wood winner to win on Derby day since 2000 when Fusaichi Pegasus sprinted to victory.
Behind Verrazano, Orb sits as the second horse wagering choice. Orb has won four in a row, including a pair of important Derby preps: the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby. Trainer Shug McGaughey's best finish in the Derby was a second in 1989 with Easy Goer.
And Goldencents is generating plenty of Derby betting buzz with wins in four of his six career starts. He won the Sham Stakes in January and the Santa Anita Derby earlier this month.
Verrazano Race Results
Track Distance Race Second Third Time
Aqueduct 1 1/8 m Wood Memorial-G1 Normandy Invasion Vyjack 01:50.3
Tampa Bay 1 1/16 m Tampa Bay Derby-G2 Java's War Falling Sky 01:44.0
Gulfstream 1 mile AlwOC Eton Blue Gunderman 01:34.8
Gulfstream 6 1/2 f MSW Acclaim Coin Broker 01:16.5
Data courtesy of USRacebook.com