09/28/2012 2:50PM

Belmont: Violette moves on with Carried Interest in Futurity


ELMONT, N.Y. − What had been a great summer for trainer Rick Violette and owners Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence turned sour Sept. 17, when their top 2-year-old, Spurious Precision, suffered a fatal knee injury while training at Aqueduct for a start in the Grade 1 Champagne next weekend at Belmont Park.

“When something like that happens, no question it kicks the living daylights out of you,” Violette said. “We have 45 to 50 horses we have a responsibility to care of, that doesn’t change, and 45 to 50 people working for me and I’m responsible to them.

“At home alone I might be sulking and beating myself up, but I have bigger responsibilities, and I’ve got to get to the barn and get back to work.”

Sunday, Carried Interest − the other top 2-year-old Violette trains for Klarman and Lawrence − gets back to work after an 88-day layoff when he runs in the Grade 2, $200,000 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park. The Futurity, run at six furlongs, drew a field of six.

Before Spurious Precision burst onto the scene with an impressive maiden win and a victory in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at Saratoga, Carried Interest won his debut July 5 at Belmont Park, beating next-out winner Palace Malice, trained by Todd Pletcher. Carried Interest ran five furlongs in 56.62 seconds and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

“It was spectacular,” Violette said. “I think Todd thought very highly of Palace Malice − certainly one of his better 2-year-olds − and he confirmed that breaking his maiden at Saratoga.”

At Saratoga, Carried Interest had a minor shin issue, which prompted Violette to skip the Saratoga Special with him. The horse has had four works since returning to training.

“I think I got him as tight as I can. The post position kind of [stinks],” said Violette, whose horse will break from the rail under Alan Garcia. “I think he’s a nice horse. He’ll run great. If he’s fit enough, he’s fit enough. He had a terrific breeze the other day.”

Though a maiden, Gulfport is an interesting horse in this field. Trainer Dale Romans was expected to scratch him out of a maiden race Saturday to try winners in the Futurity.

After finishing second in his debut at Churchill Downs, Gulfport missed some time at Saratoga with a foot issue. In his return in a seven-furlong race Sept. 1, Gulfport was away slowly but rushed up to take the lead through a half-mile in 46.62 seconds before giving way in the stretch. He was beaten eight lengths by Micromanage.

“Ramon thought he was just a little too lackadaisical and got after him a little bit, and he sprinted up to the lead and got a little flat down the lane,” Romans said. “I probably ran about a 90 percent fit horse.”

Completing the field are Handsome Jack, second in the Sanford at Saratoga; Special Joe and Drum Roll, second and third in the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth; and Overanalyze, who was fourth in the Hopeful.