Violence, one of the winter book favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been officially retired from racing and will reside at John G. Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington. The son of Medaglia d'Oro will not stand at stud this year.
Raced for Steve Marshall's Black Rock Stables, Violence sustained a fracture to his right front medial sesamoid. The fracture was detected after his second-place finish by a half-length to Orb in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 23. Violence, who took a clear lead in the stretch run of the Fountain of Youth, battled back after being passed late by Orb.
"The injury is fine, but it's March, and by the time we test breed him and EVA vaccinate him he won't be able to start breeding until April," said Sikura. "He's breeding sound, but we won't stand him until next year."
Consigned as a yearling by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent, Violence sold for $600,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September sale to Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina, agents for Black Rock.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Violence won at Saratoga Race Course in his debut at 2 last year and then won the Nashua Stakes (gr. III). He closed out the year with a score in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I). His runner-up effort in the Fountain of Youth came in his sole race at 3. He was retired with a record of 3-1-0 from four starts and earnings of $623,000.
"Violence was the consummate professional with a perfect temperament and unlimited potential," Pletcher said. "This was a really, really good horse."
"We are very excited to be partnering with John Sikura and Hill 'n' Dale Farms," said owner Marshall of Black Rock Stables. "The Hill 'n' Dale facilities are second to none, and John has a reputation for making stallions. They have a world-class broodmare band, launched Violence's sire, Medaglia d'Oro, and have a high profile customer base and sales agency. As difficult as it was to see his racing career end so abruptly, we are now looking forward to Violence becoming an outstanding sire extending his dominance on the racetrack to the breeding shed."
Bred by Dell Ridge Farm, Violence is out of the winning Gone West mare Violent Beauty and is from a female family responsible for champions Dayjur and Sky Beauty, and numerous other major winners.
"This family has been producing grade I winners for over three decades at all distances and on all surfaces," Sikura said. "This versatility will suit a great cross section of mares. Violence was an undefeated grade I winner at 2, and showed so much courage in finishing second in the Fountain of Youth while sustaining an injury.
"He is a great horse to look at, and possesses all the traits of an outstanding sire prospect—precocity with classic ability, physicality and a huge pedigree. What we saw of him talent-wise was just the tip of the iceberg. He was absolutely a top-class horse."