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Features - RACING

Brothers-in-law Kevin Scatuorchio and Bryan Sullivan formed Let’s Go Stable in 2006. They offer partnerships that emphasize quality over quantity in their bid to win North America’s most prestigious races. Their efforts have been richly rewarded as they prepare undefeated Verrazano for the 139th Kentucky Derby. Scatuorchio shared his insights with Tom Pedulla of America’s Best Racing as the Run for the Roses draws near:

I’m not going to tell you we weren’t getting a bit uptight as the draw wound down on Wednesday. Of the handful of spots left, the majority were inside. We still did not have our post position and no one wants to face the early pressure that goes with being deep inside in a 20-horse field.

It takes some luck to win the Derby. Luck was on our side when we finally drew number 14. We are very happy with that. Our jockey, John Velazquez, will be able to look inside to see what the primary speed horses are doing. We are confident he will have our horse in a great spot.

If you watch replays of Verrazano’s last couple of starts, you will see Johnny had to use him a couple of times and he was very handy. He will let Johnny put him wherever he wants. As far as the draw goes, we feel we cleared another major hurdle in our bid to win the Derby.

One of the few knocks on Verrazano this week is that he did not race at two. The only Derby winner to be unraced at two was Apollo in 1882. I don’t know anything about Apollo, but Verrazano had shin problems many young horses get. As is the case with any horse we’ve owned, we let him tell us when he was ready to run.

Verrazano’s debut happened to come on New Year’s Day, when he coasted by 7 ¾ lengths at Gulfstream Park. If the race had fallen on New Year’s Eve, we wouldn’t even be discussing this. It’s kind of a joke around the barn. We hope to laugh all the way to the winner’s circle.

ROUNDUP FROM THE KENTUCKY DERBY DRAW

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