Violence shipped in from New York to run his record to a perfect 3-for-3, defeating ten juveniles in the $750,000 Cash Call Futurity (Grade I) at Hollywood Park as the 6-to-5 favorite.
The win established the Medaglia d'Oro colt trained by Todd Pletcher as a top contender for next year's Kentucky Derby (G1). Pletcher also trains likely two-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby, who capped an unblemished five-race campaign by winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) last month.
"We've been pretty fortunate. Our two-year-olds have been great all year," said Pletcher. "Anytime you're blessed with good two-year-olds you always look forward to the spring, but the exciting thing about a horse like this is that pedigree wise, the further they go the stronger he'll get."
Breaking from the No. 6 post, Violence was able to get an ideal trip, saving ground on the short run into the clubhouse turn and then sitting just behind horses lining up on the lead.
"He broke a little bit slow with his first step so I had to use him a little bit to get my position," said jockey Javier Castellano, who was also aboard for Violence's win in the Nashua Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on November 4. "After that, the way the race unfolded worked out great for me. Turning for home I wanted to make the last move with this being his first try around two turns and under the lights."
Purchased for $600,000 by his owners Black Rock Racing, LLP as a yearling, Violence pushed his earnings to $543,000 with the 1 1/4-length win in the highlight race of the Hollywood Park meet.
Fury Kapicori ran huge at 16-to-1 to finish second after battling on a quick, contentious early pace, while Bob Baffert's quartet of runners could do no better than third with Den's Legacy closing stoutly as a 13-to-1 long shot.
Winners of last year's Kentucky Derby with I'll Have Another, trainer Doug O'Neill, jockey Mario Gutierrez and owner Paul Reddam finished fifth with 7-to-2 second choice He's Had Enough.
After failing to win the Run for the Roses with his first 24 starters, Pletcher finally broke through by capturing the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver.
A two-prep Kentucky Derby campaign is in the cards for Violence, likely beginning with the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) on February 23 at Gulfstream Park ahead of the Florida Derby (G1) on March 30.
Shanghai Bobby is being pointed to the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream on January 26.
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