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Dec 21, 2012

Up the Backstretch: History of Violence

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor

(Sports Network) - Trainer Todd Pletcher once again has a wealth of talent for the upcoming Kentucky Derby season. The Eclipse Award winning conditioner not only has Breeders' Cup Juvenile champ Shanghai Bobby, he now has another 2- year-old colt aiming for the Run for the Roses.

Saturday at Hollywood Park, Pletcher shipped in Violence from New York for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity. The colt went off as the 6-5 favorite versus 10 other 2-year-olds and pronounced himself a rising contender for the Triple Crown.

"He's a colt that we've thought a lot of all along. He's a big, leggy colt that we felt like was going to continue to improve and mature," Pletcher said. "We felt like this summer he was the kind that we would start off at least six furlongs and we ended up starting him at seven-furlongs.

"I thought he ran a very courageous race (Aug. 18 at Saratoga) for a first time starter. We talked about a couple of strategies. One was to try to make the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile). The other was a more patient strategy. We decided to wait on the Nashua (at Aqueduct) and when he ran so well in the Nashua we started looking whether we wanted to run him back in 20 days in the Remsen, put him away for the winter or something else."

With his regular jockey Javier Castellano in the saddle, Violence laid off the pace until the far turn when he edged closer along the rail until moving to the outside coming off the final turn in the 1 1/16-mile stakes.

The colt caught the leader Fury Kapcori in midstretch and drove to a 1 1/4- length victory to remain perfect in three career starts.

"We decided that if we were going to run him once more this year, this race made the most sense," Pletcher noted. "Another factor in deciding to ship out here is that he's the kind of horse that has such a great disposition and good mind that shipping wouldn't bother him at all. He'll probably start again at the end of February or the beginning of March."

Castellano was aboard Violence for the two-length Nashua win and plans to remain his jockey during 2013.

"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," the jockey said.

Owned by Black Rock Thoroughbreds, Violence picked up $375,000 for the CashCall win to bring his earnings to $543,000.

Violence defeated a solid field of contenders in the CashCall. Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up He's Had Enough was the 7-2 second pick and finished fifth on Saturday. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert had a quartet of 2-year-olds in the race, with the horses finishing third, sixth, ninth and last.

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