Verrazano and Vyjack lead a field of 10 3- year-olds in Saturday's $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
Part of the new Kentucky Derby points system, The 1 1/8-mile Wood is worth 170 points with 100 going to the winning horse. The 20 3-year-olds with the most points gain entry into the Run for the Roses on May 4.
Verrazano, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby, is currently ranked second in the NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll with Gotham Stakes champ Vyjack in fourth.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for Let's Go Stable, Verrazano convincingly won the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9 in his 3-year-old debut. Saturday, he will start from post 8 with John Velazquez returning to ride. Undefeated in three starts, the colt has earned $261,300.
"We felt like he got a little bit of experience in Tampa in that he got behind a horse and got a little bit of dirt," Pletcher said. "Some experience certainly can help you in what I'm sure will be a full gate at Churchill."
Vyjack, undefeated in four starts, will break from post 5 with Joel Rosario again riding. The gelding is owned by David Wilkenfeld's Pick Six Racing and trained by Rudy Rodriguez.
The Wood will be Vyjack's fifth straight start at Aqueduct having broken his maiden last November and followed in December by winning the Traskwood Stakes.
"His first two races were on the main track, and he ran well in both of those races," said Wilkenfeld. "I think the wider turns will suit him better, and hopefully we'll have an even, honest racetrack for the Wood and that the best horse will win."
This year, Vyjack won the Jerome Stakes on Jan 5 and came from far back to capture the Gotham on March 2. The gelding has banked $442,200.
"The waters constantly get deeper, and this is a good test for him," said Wilkenfeld. "I think Vyjack will be the best horse Verrazano has faced to date. There are some other quality 3-year-olds in the race, so I think it's going to be one of the better prep races."
Trying to get back into the Derby picture will be Fox Hill Farm's Normandy Invasion in his second start of the season. The colt, trained by Chad Brown, will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 2.
Normandy Invasion posted a disappointing fifth, as the 3-2 favorite, in his 2013 debut in February's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.
"He came out of the race in good shape," said Brown. "He probably needed that race for the last bit of fitness after the freshening. He's very fit right now, so I expect him to move forward off the race.
After beginning his career at Belmont Park last September, the colt broke his maiden at Aqueduct and followed with a nose loss to Overanalyze in the Remsen Stakes at the New York track.
"We're confident he likes the track. It takes away one element of guess work," Brown noted.
Normandy Invasion has earned $100,240 with one win in four starts.
Here is the complete Wood Memorial field in post position order: Chrisandthecapper, Jose Lezcano; Normandy Invasion, Javier Castellano; Quinzieme Monarque, Irad Ortiz Jr.; Elnaawi, Eddie Castro; Vyjack, Joel Rosario; Mr Palmer, Junior Alvarado; Always in a Tiz, Calvin Borel; Verrazano, John Velazquez; Go Get the Basil, Jose Ortiz and Freedom Child, Elvis Trujillo.
It's been 13 years since a Wood winner captured the Run for the Roses. Fusaichi Pegasus was the last to turn the double in 2000.