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Vino Rosso

Vino Rosso with Mike Repole (Holly Smith Photo)

Vino Rosso Career Statistics

Last Update: June 2018    

Starts: 6
Wins: 3
Places: 0
Shows: 1
Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings: $620,500

Owner: Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Castellano
Pedigree: Curlin – Mythical Bride, by Street Cry (IRE)
Recent Finish: 9th, Kentucky Derby, G1 (5/5/18)
Notable Wins: Wood Memorial (G2)

Vino Rosso Horse Profile

Vino Rosso returns to New York after winning the Wood Memorial (G2) in April when he ran his best race with a 102 BRIS speed figure and posted the fastest Thoro-Graph number in America at the time, tying Justify and Audible. He then finishing 9th in the Kentucky Derby with a wide trip. But trainer Todd Pletcher has been pointing this Curlin colt to the Belmont with a similar training pattern as last year’s winner Tapwrit. Vino Rosso’s sire, Curlin, has become a powerhouse source of stamina, and Vino Rosso is expected to be one of the deep closers making a bid for a Belmont win in the final furlong.

Vino Rosso Entering Into the Kentucky Derby

Vino Rosso only ran in spots and was not as focused in his first two starts of 2018, the Sam F. Davis (G3) where he finished 3rd and the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) where he was a well-beaten fourth and lacked a response in the stretch. Jockey John Velazquez said Vino Rosso would start spinning his wheels on the far turn of the sandy and sometimes quirky Tampa Bay Downs surface. But when trainer Todd Pletcher shipped the Curlin colt to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial, he closed with gusto, zooming down the stretch and actually pulling away from the favorite and solid Derby runner Enticed to win by 3 lengths.

The Wood Memorial win earned Vino Rosso a career-best BRIS speed rating of 102, and he also posted the fastest Thoro-Graph number in America this year, tying Justify and Audible. Also, only Justify and Magnum Moon have run faster in their career debut than Vino Rosso, who closed for a nearly 3 length win in November at Aqueduct.   

The track at Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial was not only to Vino Rosso’s liking, but it favored a deep closer. Vino Rosso was 18 lengths behind the leader at the first two calls combined, and the track played best for stretch runners and not as much for speed. Still, Vino Rosso ran the best race of his career and came home strong with a final 3/8 mile time of :37.66, which was better than the favorite and runner-up Enticed, who did well running near the lead considering the track and surface put speed at a disadvantage.

BRIS speed measures how fast a horse ran a particular race and is comparable across distance, surface, and location. Class measures competition within each race.  

Key Speed Figures and Stats for Vino Rosso

  • Final 3/8 mile time in the Louisiana Derby :37.66 seconds
  • Best BRIS Speed and Class Rating of 102 in Wood Memorial
  • Trainer Todd Pletcher is a 2-time Kentucky Derby winner including in 2017

Jockey John Velazquez won the Kentucky Derby last year aboard Always Dreaming, and he’s decided to ride Vino Rosso this year instead of Noble Indy or Audible. The difference with Vino Rosso will be that he’ll be off the pace in the Derby, which should be to his advantage with an expected very fast pace from a number of contenders. Pace scenarios are still vital in the Derby, and running style can have a significant impact in the Derby with speed and pace pressers likely this year and some runners still distance challenged.  

Vino Rosso has the tactical speed needed for the Derby, and he has proven classic ability on both sides of his pedigree. Vino Rosso’s sire, Curlin, has become a powerhouse source of stamina, and the Smart Strike stallion has produced a classic winner or classic-placed runner from each of his first five crops, beginning with 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice. Others are Ride on Curlin, Keen Ice, Exaggerator and Irish War Cry. His dam side has some strong sprinters and distance runners.

Horses that are finishing strongly at the end of their prep races are more likely to handle the distance of the Kentucky Derby (1 ¼ miles) than horses that are tiring at the end of their prep races. Each of the last six Kentucky Derby winners – and 16 of the last 21 – ran the last three-eighths of their final Derby prep race in less than 38 seconds. Vino Rosso ran a final 3/8 mile time of :37.66 in the Wood Memorial, and the track that day favored stretch runners and deep closers.
A total of 20 Wood Memorial runners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, most recently Funny Cide in 2003. But that long stretch between a Wood/Derby double should only add to the value offered on Vino Rosso, who is near 20-1 and not mentioned alongside five or six other top contenders.  

But Vino Rosso is improving and will likely just need some room to run when he begins to move past others for the stretch Run for the Roses. The pace of the race and ability to maneuver may determine his fate and final finish, but Vino Rosso is one to watch closely and consider in your wagering plans.  

Learn more about Vino Rosso

POWELL: Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Vino Rosso

MUCCIOLO: Sophomore Spotlight: Vino Rosso getting better like a…

BRISNET: Vino Rosso Archive

Kentucky Derby Profile: Vino Rosso

Watch Vino Rosso's Belmont workout videos

Watch Vino Rosso's Kentucky Derby workout videos