the wake of two recent shows of Violence at a pair of New York racetracks, a warning for
more of the same has been issued to Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday for the
Grade 1 CashCall Furturity. At stake is not only the well-being of the other
horses’ confidence and good racing records, but also the lion’s share of the
Violence, by Medaglia d'Oro, and out of the Gone West mare, Violent Beauty, has demonstrated no signs
of remorse after treating badly more than a dozen victims so far back east. Acting
under direct order of owner, Black Rock Stables, and trainer, Todd Pletcher, Violence
was first seen at the picturesque upstate New York track, Saratoga on August
18. Several eyewitness accounts verify that at 2:32 pm, a group of eight two-year-olds
going 7 furlongs became the first affected by Violence. Not even a Bad Hombre,
part of the field that day, had an answer for the destructive force hitting the
wire first in the afternoon’s fourth race.
There was a reprieve from anymore Violence at the
rest of the Spa meet, as well as, the fall meet at Belmont Park, but just when
nervous horsemen and their charges felt safe to venture out on the track again,
it resurfaced with little warning. This time Violence struck at Aqueduct
Racetrack in Ozone Park, New York. On the second reported race of Violence, at
3:43 pm on Novebmer 4, Violence tore through the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes field.
Lasting only a little more than a minute-and-a-half, not even Darwin, one of
the victims that day, could postulate a reasonable way to slow down Violence.
Now with his connections reportedly all set to
show up Saturday in Southern California, one can only assume the force of
Violence will be on stage for a whole new, and larger, audience.
I really can’t say if there will be any answers
to another strong demonstration of Violence in the CashCall Futurity, but if is
to be prevented on Saturday, it may come from a horse that has reached his
boiling point. He's Had Enough, a son of Tapit,
and trained by Kentucky Derby winning trainer Doug O'Neill, showed promise in
his career debut, before running into frustration in a pair of stakes at Del
Mar and Keeneland. Without the trouble in his last start, He’s Had Enough
looked like a good one while running a bang-up second to division leader,
Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, so it would come as no surprise
if he shows up ready for anything in Saturday's grade 1 affair.
Not to be outdone, and showing no fear, trainer,
Bob Baffert is also going to take a stand against Violence, and will do so with
a four-pronged attack. Real Quiet Stakes winner, Carving, Generous Stakes hero,
Den’s Legacy, and the speed of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Title Contender,
will join the recent victor of the Hollywood Prevue, Really Mr Greely, to give
the trainer a virtual anti-Violence army in the Futurity.
Still I wonder … if all this, and several other promising
juvenile hopefuls, will be enough to stop Violence.
photo courtesy of Jessica Hansen/NYRA