Aronstam's Dancal Cruises to Violet Victory

(from Meadowlands report)
Marlon Aronstam's Dancal took control going into the first turn and never looked back, capturing the $150,000 Violet Handicap (gr. IIIT) at the Meadowlands on Friday night by two lengths.

It was the 10th win in 16 turf starts for Dancal, who returned $5.60, $3.60 and $2.40 as the favorite. Madeira Mist returned $5 and $2.80 and completed the $25.20 exacta. Something Ventured was another length and three-quarters back in third and paid $2.40 to show.

"I kind of waited to see if anyone wanted to go to the lead," said winning rider Javier Castellano. "When no one really committed to it I decided to send her on. I pretty much sat on her the whole way around. Turning for home she spurted away by a couple of lengths and just cruised under the wire."

"She'd probably prefer to be clocking somebody but this was a paceless race, so being on the lead worked out fine," said winning trainer Todd Pletcher.

"Marlon Aronstam called me from South Africa and asked if I was interested in training her. She wintered in Dubai. My good friend Kiaran McLaughlin trains over there, so I e-mailed him and asked him what he thought of her. He said he thought she was a nice filly and that I should take her, and it turned out he was right."

From 21 lifetime starts the 5-year-old mare by Majadil out of the Indian King mare Majesty's Nurse, has a record of 11-5-1 and earnings of $263,551. All but her most recent three starts came in South Africa or the United Arab Emirates.

The Violet marked her first graded stakes win in the United States. She was second by a neck to Wonder Again in the Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) in her most recent effort at Belmont Park Sept. 20.

(Chart, Equibase)