Updated on 12/18/2012 1:14PM

Hollywood Park: Violence remains unbeaten by capturing CashCall Futurity

Benoit & Associates
Violence, under Javier Castellano, handles his first two-turn assignment to improve his career record to 3 for 3 in the CashCall Futurity.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – It was his first race outside New York, around two turns, and under the lights, yet none of that, nor 10 rivals, could stop Violence from remaining unbeaten in the Grade 1, $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park, a result that positioned Violence as yet another elite Kentucky Derby contender in the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher.

Pletcher already trains likely 2-year-old champ Shanghai Bobby, who, like Violence, was sent west for a major Grade 1 race and won it, to remain unbeaten, in last month’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Violence has raced fewer times, but his athletic build, pedigree, and desire were on full display on a chilly evening at Hollywood Park.

Violence ($4.40), the favorite, got a gorgeous trip under Javier Castellano, who tucked Violence behind a spirited, four-horse battle  for the lead. He surged to the front in upper stretch and turned back a stubborn Fury Kapcori to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Den’s Legacy came with a big rush, but late, for third, another 2 1/2 lengths behind, but 5 1/4 clear of the rest of the field.

Oxbow was fourth and was followed, in order, by He’s Had Enough, Carving, Dirty Swagg, Little Jerry, Really Mr Greeley, Simon Eyes, and Title Contender.

Violence completed 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:43.50.

“I wanted to get a good position going to the first turn,” Castellano said. “I liked the way the race developed. It was his first race around two turns, and under the lights, so that was a concern, but he’s improving, and he’s very mature. He passed all the tests.”

Fury Kapcori was part of the early pace that saw he, Really Mr Greeley, Title Contender, and Oxbow tear through fractions of 22.97 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.07 seconds for the half, and 1:10.90 for six furlongs. He disposed of those three, but could not hold off Violence.

“He ran a hell of a race to be second,” said Fury Kapcori’s rider, Joe Talamo. “We’ll have to cross our fingers for next year.”

Pletcher trains Violence, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro, for the Black Rock Thoroughbreds partnership headed by Steven Marshall of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He was purchased as a yearling at Keeneland for $600,000 by bloodstock agent Nick Sallusto.

“He’s a big, leggy colt, and with his pedigree, we think he’ll get better and improve with more distance,” said Pletcher, who flew in for the race. “It’s exciting training horses like this, because, pedigree-wise, the farther he goes, the better he gets.”

Violence had made his first two starts in New York, including a victory in the Nashua Stakes last month at Aqueduct. He will winter in Florida, and was scheduled to head to the Palm Meadows training center on Sunday morning.

Pletcher said he envisioned a two-race Kentucky Derby prep schedule for Violence, beginning with a race “at the end of February or the beginning of March,” he said

Assuming Pletcher sticks to that schedule, the first races to be considered for Violence would be the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, or the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, both on Feb. 23.