In 2012 there were quite a number of three-year-olds that went down due to injury or illness, including Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another, Belmont winner Union Rags, two-year-old champion Hansen, and the speedy Bodemeister. Now we have seen the first high profile casualty of 2014 as Violence has been taken off the Derby Trail with a fractured right front medial sesamoid that was discovered after his run in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Violence ran a strong race in Saturday’s Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes, getting overtaken by Orb just before the finish line. One of the highest regarded Derby contenders for Todd Pletcher had started his career with three victories, including two stakes races. In December he won the Grade I Cash Call Futurity and earned his first ten points in the Kentucky Derby Championship standings. Previously to the Cash Call he had won the Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct, and was making his 2014 debut on Saturday.
Violence was getting plenty of attention from horse racing fans and had recently been ranked as the top Derby contender in a poll conducted by Louisville’s Courier-Journal. Trainer Todd Pletcher was clearly somber about the injury to one of his star colts; “It’s such a disappointment to see such a promising colt sustain an injury…He’s been training beautifully and made such an impressive effort in his second-place finish yesterday.” Pletcher also said that Violence is resting and will be shipped to Black Rock Stable at owner Rick Marshall’s farm where he will begin recuperation. It’s not known at this time, if and when he will be able to resume a racing career.