Violence winning the Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct in November (Photo courtesy of Jessica Hansen/NYRA).
Making the Grade, which will run right up until the Belmont Stakes (G1), will focus on the winners of the big races, usually from the previous weekend, who could impact the 2013 Triple Crown. We’ll be taking a close look at impressive winners and evaluating their chances to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) based on factors such as talent, running style, pedigree, and connections (owner, trainer, jockey).
During the weeks when there are no key races on the Derby trail, we’ll take a look back at some of the key contenders who already have shown flashes of the type of class needed to be a contender for Triple Crown glory.
This week we take a look at Violence, the winner of the CashCall Futurity (G1) on Dec. 15 for Steven Marshall’s Black Rock Thoroughbreds.
VIOLENCE WINNING CASHCALL FUTURITY
Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates
Dark Bay or Brown Colt
Sire: Medaglia d’Oro
Dam: Violent Beauty, by Gone West
Breeder: Dell Ridge Farm (Ky.)
Owner: Black Rock Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Undefeated in three starts, Violence is a colt clearly on the rise when looking toward the 2013 Triple Crown races. He won his debut in August in a sprint race at Saratoga Race Course before easily handling a significant step up in racing class when winning the one-mile Nashua Stakes (G2) by two lengths on Nov. 4 at Aqueduct.
The CashCall Futurity (G1) on Dec. 15 was a big race for Violence for a number of reasons.
First, Violence was shipping for the first time to race outside of New York, making the long trek across the country to race in Southern California for trainer Todd Pletcher. Violence also was making his first start going around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Futurity, as the Nashua was a one-turn race. The first two-turn test is a significant one for potential classic candidates as it often identifies horses capable of excelling at longer distances, such as the Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness Stakes (G1), and Belmont Stakes (G1). Finally, the Cashcall Futurity was Violence’s first Grade 1 race against a solid field that included the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up He’s Had Enough and four stakes winners.
When Violence steamrolled to the front nearing the final eighth of a mile and drove to a convincing win in the CashCall Futurity, he answered the questions about his ability to successfully take his ‘A’ game on the road, negotiate two turns, and win in Grade 1 company thus solidifying his status as a legitimate threat on the road to Derby 2013.
MARSHALL AND JOCKEY JAVIER CASTELLANO
CELEBRATE VIOLENCE'S FUTURITY WIN
Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates
Bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina, representing Steven Marshall’s Black Rock Thoroughbreds, purchased Violence for $600,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. In addition to his unblemished race record, Violence has several other ingredients that make him an intriguing colt for the 2013 Triple Crown races.
Violence is trained by future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, winner of the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and the 2007 Belmont Stakes with the filly Rags to Riches. Pletcher has a deep arsenal for next year’s classics with probable 2012 champion 2-year-old male Shanghai Bobby, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; Remsen Stakes (G2) winner Overanalyze and third-place finisher Delhomme, and highly regarded Archwarrior also among his powerhouse stable.
Another important factor moving forward is that Violence has shown the ability to settle into a comfortable rhythm behind the pace and unleash a burst of speed when asked to accelerate, doing so to win the Nashua and the CashCall Futurity.
Violence also appears to have the pedigree to succeed as the races get longer in 2013.
His sire (father) Medaglia d’Oro was an elite performer at the Derby distance of 1 ¼ miles. He won the Travers Stakes (G1) at that distance and finished second twice in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and second in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1). Medaglia d’Oro also has sired a classic winner in 2009 Preakness Stakes winner and that year’s Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
Violence’s dam (mother) was a winner sprinting and his second dam (maternal grandmother) was a winner at 1 1/16 miles, but it is from the next generation of this family that he gets a healthy dose of class. His maternal great grandmother, Sky Beauty, swept the Acorn Stakes (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and Alabama Stakes (G1) as a 3-year-old in 1993 and was the Eclipse Award winner as champion older female in 1994.
This family also includes English Horse of the Year Dayjur, 2005 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Pleasant Home, and Grade 1 winners Maplejinsky and Tale of Ekati. It’s probably fair to say that if Violence doesn’t excel in the 2013 classics, it won’t be because of lack of pedigree.
Violence is a colt to be taken very seriously on the 2013 Triple Crown trail.