A horse named Verrazano goes to the Kentucky Derby

April 12, 2013 Denise Romano
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An undefeated racehorse named Verrazano is poised to make Kentucky Derby history.

The two-year-old colt just won $1 million in the Tampa Bay Derby. If he brings home the gold in the Kentucky Derby, he will be the first horse since 1882 to win the race without racing as a two-year-old.

Kevin Scatourichio, co-manager of Let’s Go Stables, based in Southwest New Jersey, explained that Verrazano has six co-owners.

“We originally bought his half-brother, El Padrino, who the year before went to the [Kentucky] Derby,” he explained. “We were trying to find a good name for the horse. We had a couple brewing, but nobody was crazy about it.”

Scatourichio said that late last summer, when Verrazano was about to turn two, it was decided that he would run. Since time was of the essence, they needed a name fast.

He recalled riding the SeaStreak Ferry to his home in Red Bank, New Jersey from Manhattan.

“We have to go under the Verrazano [Bridge] and I kind of sit, leaning out the window, thinking, ‘I love that bridge.’ I have always liked it. It’s beautiful and impressive to see from the distance,” Scatourichio said, “I thought it was a great name for a horse and put it out to the partners.”

But there’s even more sentimentality to the name Verrazano.

Scatourichio is getting married on June 1. Years ago, when he first started dating his fiancée, she made her first trip to New York from her native Chicago for the Marathon.

“I happened to be on the ferry on a beautiful day and took a picture of the Verrazano. I sent it to her, telling her that this is where she would start the race,” Scatourichio said. “After she went back to Chicago, she sent me a birthday present – [that] framed picture of the Verrazano. The Verrazano has been a symbolic, iconic kind of image of when we first got together.”

Verrazano will ship out to Louisville, Kentucky to prepare for the big day on Sunday, April 14. The Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 4.

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