Photo courtesy Benoit & Associates
By Jack Shinar
Favored Violence remained unbeaten in three starts when he ran down front-running Fury Kapcori for victory in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I), the final graded stakes of the autumn meet at Betfair Hollywood Park Dec. 15.
Black Rock Thoroughbreds' 2-year-old, trained by Todd Pletcher, became the latest New York-based runner to invade Southern California for a grade I victory this fall going back to the Breeders' Cup Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, Violence defeated Fury Kapcori by 1 1/4 lengths while completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.50 over Hollywood's Cushion Track. Den's Legacy, one of four entrants from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, ran on for third.
Violence won a bumpy Nashua Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack in his previous start by two lengths Nov. 4. With his latest triumph, the son of Medaglia d'Oro , a $600,000 Keeneland September yearling last year, earned 10 points toward a possible start in the 2013 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as he progresses toward what looks like a promising 3-year-old campaign.
The 6-5 favorite in the field of 11 juveniles was making his first start around two turns in the CashCall Futurity, the final graded race of the year for 2-year-olds.
Pletcher and Castellano posted their first wins in the CashCall Futurity, previously known as the Hollywood Futurity.
Dell Ridge Farm bred the winner in Kentucky from the winning Gone West mare Violent Beauty. The colt's third dam is champion older mare Sky Beauty. Violence is from a family that includes Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Pleasant Home and multiple grade I winners Tale of Ekati , Point of Entry, and Pine Island. Steve Marshall's Black Rock Thoroughbreds bought the dark bay or brown colt at Keeneland through Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina, agents.
Medaglia d'Oro sired his ninth grade I winner in Violence.
A fast pace developed as Fury Kapcori grabbed the early lead under Joe Talamo before Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) winner Really Mr Greely took over on his outside while clearing the opening quarter in :22.97. The half went in :46.07 as Fury Kapcori fought back along the inside to put his head in front. Six furlongs were run in 1:10.90 as Fury Kapcori inched to a one-length advantage. The quick pace doomed Really Mr Greely but Fury Kapcori took the field into the stretch before coming under a ride from Talamo.
Violence stalked mid-pack a bit off the rail after angling to the inside behind the leaders on the clubhouse turn. He angled for room to the outside to reach contention rounding the far turn and challenged for the lead approaching mid-stretch. After getting the lead past the furlong mark, he was kept to the task by Castellano as Fury Kapcori continued to battle gamely along the inside.
"He's a colt that we've thought a lot of all along,'' said Pletcher, who won his second significant 2-year-old race in California in a span of six weeks, following Shanghai Bobby in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3.
Violence debuted Aug. 18 at Saratoga Race Course at seven furlongs with a neck victory over Titletown Five, who came back to annihilate maidens at Churchill Downs two months later. His victory in the Nov. 4 Nashua, a one-turn mile, was a bumpy affair in the stretch with runner-up Vegas No Show. Violence had put in three works over the Belmont Park training track, his most recent at a half-mile on a sloppy track Dec. 9, before shipping west.
"He's a big, leggy colt that we felt like was going to continue to improve and mature," Pletcher said. "After he won first time out, we talked about a couple of strategies. One was to try and make the Breeders' Cup and the other was a more patient strategy.
"We decided to wait on the Nashua and when he ran so well in there, we started looking at whether we wanted to run him back in 20 days in the Remsen (gr. II at Aqueduct), put him away for the winter, or look for something else.
"We decided that if we were going to run him once more this year, this race made the most sense. Another factor in deciding to ship out here is that he is the kind of horse that has such a great disposition and good mind that shipping wouldn't bother him at all.''
Pletcher added that Violence will get some time off and probably won't make his 3-year-old debut until sometime in late February or early March.
Castellano, who had won the grade I Hollywood Derby Nov. 25 aboard the New York bred Unbridled Command, is looking forward to 2013 with Violence.
"I positioned myself in a very good spot around the first turn and I believe that was the key to winning this race,'' said Castellano. "You don't want to be too far back, particularly in a race for 2-year-olds.
"I had a lot of confidence in this colt. He is so calm and handles himself very professionally. I think he is a special horse and I am really looking forward to big times.''
Den's Legacy, rallying from ninth on the turn for Garrett Gomez, emerged from the pack in the stretch to take third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Fury Kapcori, who was coming off a runner-up effort in the Real Quiet Stakes over the track and distance Nov. 10.
The stalking Oxbow was fourth at 60-1, followed by Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up He's Had Enough, Carving, Dirty Swagg, Little Jerry, Really Mr Greely, Simon Eyes, and Title Contender.
Under equal weights of 121 pounds, the winner paid $4.40, $4.20, $3.40. Fury Kapcori, a stakes winner at the Fresno County Fair for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer prior to the Real Quiet, returned $10.40 and $6.20. The exacta paid $59.20. The show price on the Baffert-trained Den's Legacy was $6.40.
It was not a good result for Baffert, who has won the CashCall/Hollywood Futurity a record six times. He was also represented by Carving, Really Mr Greely, and Title Contender.
``I was most disappointed with Title Contender,'' Baffert said. ``Really Mr Greely just can't go this far. Title Contender, we were trying to get him back, but he just used himself up. Den's Legacy is getting better, I liked his race. He's solid and tough.''
Besides Violence and Unbridled Command in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), the other New York shippers to win grade I races during the Hollywood meet were Pure Fun (Hollywood Starlet) and Better Lucky (Matriarch).
Violence, who earned $375,000 for the victory, has now banked $543,000.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
VIOLENCE STAYS UNDEFEATED IN CASHCALL FUTURITY
Photo courtesy Benoit & Associates