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Violence retired to stud at Hill 'n' Dale

John G. Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms has announced that Violence, a leading Kentucky Derby contender before suffering a career-ending injury in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, will enter stud at the Lexington, Kentucky, nursery beginning in 2014.

"Violence was an undefeated Grade 1 winner at two, and showed so much courage in finishing second in the Fountain of Youth while sustaining an injury," Sikura said.

"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. We are adding a really exciting sire prospect to our roster."

Todd Pletcher also paid tribute to the Medaglia d'Oro colt, who bankrolled $623,000 from his 4-3-1-0 line.

"Violence was the consummate professional with a perfect temperament and unlimited potential," Pletcher said. "This was a really, really good horse."

Consigned as a yearling by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, Violence sold to Black Rock Stables for $600,000, making him the second highest priced yearling by Medaglia d'Oro in 2011.

Donato Lanni, director of bloodstock services at Hill 'n' Dale, described him as the best-looking yearling he saw that year.

"I really recruited him hard," Lanni commented. "I knew buyers would love him, and they did."

Making his debut at Saratoga, Violence flashed his brilliance as the 4-5 favorite, with a determined win going seven panels. Runner-up Titletown Five came back to romp by nine lengths at Churchill Downs, and the third-place finisher was Orb, who would eventually repay the favor in the Fountain of Youth.

Violence easily accounted for the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes at a mile at Aqueduct, and retained his two-length decision after a stewards' inquiry into his wayward path down the stretch. Stretching out to two turns for the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park, he was a model of deportment when sweeping from just off the pace to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths.

The undefeated colt was bet down to 3-5 favoritism in the February 23 Fountain of Youth, which was expected to be his first step on the trail to the Kentucky Derby. But after chasing a wicked three-quarters in 1:08 4/5, and driving to the lead, he was collared late by Orb. Violence gamely tried to fight back, and lost his perfect mark by a half-length, despite fracturing a sesamoid.

Violence is the second registered foal from the royally-bred Violent Beauty. His third dam is Hall of Famer Sky Beauty, and his fourth dam is multiple Grade 1 queen Maplejinsky.

This blue-blood family is also responsible for the great European sprinter Dayjur; Pleasant Home, the 2005 Breeders' Cup Distaff conqueror; the ill-fated multiple Grade 1 heroine Pine Island; and current multiple Grade 1 turf star Point of Entry, who recently defeated Animal Kingdom in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf.

"This family has been producing Grade 1 winners for over three decades at all distances and on all surfaces," Sikura commented. "This versatility will suit a great cross-section of mares."

"We are very excited to be partnering with John Sikura and Hill 'n' Dale Farms," owner Steve Marshall of Black Rock Stables said. "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."

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