Violence is an awful part of our world. One need only look at recent headlines in any newspaper to see the tragedies wrought by those who use lawless force to wreak havoc on their fellow human beings. But for at least a few minutes Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, the only "violence" being spoken of was a fleet Thoroughbred colt who holds a promise of racing glory rather than mayhem after winning the grade I CashCall Futurity. After overcoming a game Fury Kapcori, who turned in a solid performance of his own off a speed duel, the equine Violence now must be considered a leading Triple Crown prospect for owner Black Rock Thoroughbreds and trainer Todd Pletcher.
Bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm, Violence is the third male grade/group I winner and the ninth such winner overall for Medaglia d'Oro , whose other sons include 2009 French champion juvenile male Passion for Gold and 2010 Carter Handicap (gr. I) winner Warrior's Reward . A versatile stallion whose offspring have won events at the top level on dirt, turf, and synthetics, Medaglia d'Oro was tagged as a "filly sire" after 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, a member of his first crop, grabbed that year's headlines, and females do in fact make up the majority of his stakes winners. Nonetheless, the stallion has shown the ability to get talented colts from the outset, with Warrior's Reward and multiple grade II winner Al Khali emerging from his first crop and Passion for Gold headlining his second.
With 37 stakes winners to his credit so far, Medaglia d'Oro is the leading sire from the Sadler's Wells branch of Northern Dancer in North America, succeeding his own sire El Prado. The Irish champion juvenile male of 1991, El Prado was leading sire in North America in 2002 and is also the sire of Kitten's Joy , the leading third-crop sire of 2011, and Artie Schiller , a current leading third-crop sire. Medaglia d'Oro stands at Darley, where he is advertised for 2013 for the same $100,000 fee he commanded in 2012.
Violence is the second foal of the Gone West mare Violent Beauty, her first being the winning Shakespeare colt Laertes. Herself a one-time winner from seven starts, Violent Beauty is out of the similar winner Storming Beauty (by Storm Cat), a full sister to 2005 Stan James Horris Hill Stakes (Eng-III) winner Hurricane Cat. As Gone West and Storm Cat were both produced from Secretariat mares, Violent Beauty is inbred 3x4 to the legendary champion. Nor is this the only special attraction of an overall high-quality pedigree, as the dam of Storming Beauty is 1994 champion older female Sky Beauty, a winner of nine grade I events including the 1993 Triple Tiara.
A daughter of Blushing Groom, Sky Beauty was produced from the Nijinsky II mare Maplejinsky, herself a multiple grade I winner. A half sister to 1990 English Horse of the Year and French highweight Dayjur (by Danzig), Maplejinsky is also the ancestress of grade I winners Pleasant Home, Pine Island, and Point of Entry, the latter a candidate for honors as 2012 U.S. champion turf male.
The dam of Maplejinsky, 1982 champion sprinter Gold Beauty (by Mr. Prospector), is one of five stakes winners produced from Stick to Beauty, a stakes-winning daughter of the Round Table horse Illustrious and the unraced Hail to Reason mare Hail to Beauty. The female line traces back to Maid of Erin, a half sister to the good speedster and speed sire Voter and dam of the excellent sire Celt, who became one of the foundations for Claiborne Farm.
Violence is the third grade I winner of 2012 as a maternal grandsire for Gone West, who is also the broodmare sire of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Union Rags and Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) winner King David. Currently 11th on the broodmare sire list, Gone West is one of six sons of Mr. Prospector among the top 20 leading broodmare sires, the others being Seeking the Gold (sixth), Carson City (10th), Smart Strike (12th), Woodman (13th), and Kingmambo (19th).
An interesting note of Violence's pedigree is that he is bred on a similar cross to 2005 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Motivator, a son of Sadler's Wells' champion son Montjeu out of the Gone West mare Out West. This by itself is hardly enough to predict classic glory for Violence, who after all has only made three lifetime starts and has not necessarily faced the best of his division. But the ingredients of pedigree, talent, and temperament certainly seem present to make a very good 3-year old. And it would be a pleasant turn of events if next spring, the word "violence" would turn people's minds to a swift and courageous Thoroughbred rather than to yet another instance of man's inhumanity to man.