INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 15, 2012)—Violence became a Grade I winner in his third career start, remaining undefeated with a 1 ¼ length victory over Fury Kapcori and nine other 2-year-olds in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (video) Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The win by the 6-5 favorite came a little more than an hour after Grandeur, the 8-5 choice, captured the Grade II, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.
Giving shippers a sweep of the four Grade I events offered during the Autumn meet, Violence, who is trained by Todd Pletcher for Steve Marshall’s Black Rock Thoroughbreds LLLP, received a ground saving ride for most of the trip from jockey Javier Castellano.
Angled outside Fury Kapcori, a 16-1 shot who survived a four-pronged battle for the early lead, for the stretch run, Violence gained a short lead with less than an eighth of a mile remaining and went on to a workmanlike win.
The final time for the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track was 1:43.50. A $600,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale in 2011, Violence returned $4.40, $4.20 and $3.40.
A son of Medaglia d’Oro out of the Gone West mare Violent Beauty, Violence, who increased his bankroll to $543,000, has earned his wins at three different tracks.
Betfair Hollywood Park joined Saratoga – a maiden victory by a neck Aug. 18 – and Aqueduct – a two-length decision in the Grade II Nashua Nov. 4.
“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’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“He’s a big, leggy colt that we felt like was going to continue to improve and mature. 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 (Grade II) Remsen (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 mot 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.’’
Second in last month’s Real Quiet Stakes, Fury Kapcori wound up 2 ½ lengths in front of Den’s Legacy, who fared best of the four runners Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert started in search of a seventh Futurity win.
Giving Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer his second consecutive runner-up performance in the Futurity after Rousing Sermon completed the exacta in 2011, Fury Kapcori paid $10.40 and $6.20. The show price on Den’s Legacy, who finished 5 ¼ lengths in front of 60-1 shot Oxbow, was $6.40.
Completing the order of finish were He’s Had Enough, the 7-2 second choice who was making his first start since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Carving, Dirty Swagg, Little Jerry, Really Mr Greely, Simon Eyes and Title Contender.
Besides Violence and Unbridled Command, the other shippers who won Grade I’s during the meet were Pure Fun (Hollywood Starlet) and Better Lucky (Matriarch).
In the Turf Cup, Grandeur powered home in the final quarter of a mile to defeat 29-1 shot Interaction and eight others, becoming the first 3-year-old to win since Bien Bien – who was moved up to first after the disqualification of Fraise – in 1992.
Trying 1 ½ miles for the first time after a troubled runner-up effort behind Unbridled Command in the Grade I Hollywood Derby Nov. 25, Grandeur laid relatively close to the moderate fractions, swung outside the run home and proved best for the second time in three races in the United States.
Owned by Yvonne Jacques and now in the barn of Paddy Gallagher, the gelded son of Verglas and the Desert Sun mare Misskinta completed the distance in 2:27.95 while winning by three-quarters of a length.
The victory was his sixth in 12 starts, pushing his earnings to $398,438. The gray has been worse than third only twice.
Favored for the second time in this country, Grandeur paid $5.20, $3.60 and $2.60.
“I really didn’t do much with him,’’ said Gallagher. “I didn’t have to. This was his third graded race in six weeks.
“I’m just thankful that the owner left him with me. She lives in Europe and I believe the plan was to take him back there, depending on what he did today and eventually run him in Dubai. I’d sure like to keep him, but he’s going back to (his former trainer) Jeremy Noseda.
The win was a meet-high fifth in a stakes and third in the Turf Cup for Gomez, who returned to action Saturday after missing the previous two days due to illness.
“I wasn’t happy with the horse I was following (Optimizer),’’ said Gomez, whose earlier Turf Cup victories came with Boboman (2006) and Sunriver (2007). “I wanted to find my way around him and then I thought about sliding my way through Slim Shadey, but decided I didn’t like that option.
“As we approached the final turn, I decided to take him outside of Optimizer and when I asked (Grandeur) he went on with it without a problem.’’
Seventh in the Grade II Citation Handicap Nov. 23, Interaction improved with additional distance, gaining second with a rail rally under jockey Joe Talamo. The Argentine bred returned $19.80 and $11.80.
Seeking to give Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his first graded stakes win at Betfair Hollywood Park since Surfside captured the 1999 Hollywood Starlet, Optimizer, another 3-year-old and the 4-1 second choice, was third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Interaction.
The early leader under jockey Corey Nakatani, the English Channel colt deferred to Slim Shadey down the backside, then had some minor traffic issues in the stretch. The show price on Optimizer was $3.80.
Racing will resume Sunday. Post time for the final day of the Autumn meet is 12:30 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10 a.m. for simulcasts.
The main event is the inaugural running of the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. Scheduled for seven furlongs over Cushion Track, the Soviet Problem is part of the Golden State series. It is the ninth of 11 races.
Throughout the day, there will be drawings between races for gift cards and other prizes as part of fan appreciation day.
The last race at Betfair Hollywood Park also begins the final “405 Double’’ of the season. The $2 minimum wager requires a bettor to pick the winners of the last local race and the first at Los Alamitos.
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