NEW YORK (AP) - Verrazano has won the $1 million Wood Memorial in a close finish to remain unbeaten and stamp himself a favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
Tested as never before, Verrazano held off the challenges of Vyjack and Normandy Invasion for his fourth victory in a row.
The 1 1/8-mile Wood is a final prep race before the Derby on May 4, when the 3-year-old colt will try to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second Derby win.
Ridden by John Velazquez, 4-5 favorite Verrazano swept into the lead around the far turn Saturday at Aqueduct, took charge in the stretch and won by three-quarters of a length over Normandy Invasion. Vyjack was third in his first career defeat.
The winning time for the race was 1:50.27.