Violence's Newgrange Stays Perfect in Southwest

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Newgrange | Coady Photo

Just minutes after his high-profile ownership conglomerate suffered a relative disappointment when running second, third and fourth with 60% of the field in the GII San Vicente S. at Santa Anita, unbeaten Newgrange (Violence) found his best stride late to justify 3-2 favoritism in Oaklawn's $750,000 GIII Southwest S.

Entering off a debut sprint win Nov. 28 and front-running GIII Sham S. tally at Santa Anita Jan. 1, the handsome dark bay broke well and took the first turn perched three deep. He dropped back a bit while still kept out into the track as the field spread out down the backside, and seemed to be spinning his wheels on the second bend as other rivals moved up inside of him. Hall of Famer John Velazquez was hard at work getting his mount going into a six-furlong split of 1:12.42, and pacesetting longshot Kavod (Lea) looked like he might forget to stop at the top of the lane. The cavalry charge kept plugging away, however, and Newgrange finally leveled off in the final sixteenth to emerge, displaying a powerful stride that none could match and crossing the line 1 1/2 lengths to the good. Barber Road (Race Day) closed well down the center to complete his third-straight stakes exacta, having previously finished second in the Smarty Jones S. here on New Year's Day. Smarty Jones winner Dash Attack (Munnings) was a disappointing and even fifth as the second choice.

“We saw he had a different dimension today, the way the race set up,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who tied Bob Holthus's record five wins in this event and has typically been particularly dangerous in Oaklawn's Triple Crown preps. “Pretty proud of the way he ran. Johnny said he was struggling with the track a little bit earlier and I could tell that. Usually, he's on the lead. But all the way down the backside he was in a good spot. You never know, but he showed some real grit down the stretch to win that race. Love going to Oaklawn Park and winning those big races. It was pretty exciting to watch, the stretch. He'll come back to California and we'll figure out our next move.”

Newgrange did not earn any GI Kentucky Derby qualifying points Saturday due to Churchill Downs's policy of not awarding any points to a horse conditioned by a trainer currently banned from racing at the Louisville oval.

Saturday, Oaklawn Park
SOUTHWEST S.-GIII, $750,000, Oaklawn, 1-29, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.83, ft.
1–NEWGRANGE, 122, c, 3, by Violence
1st Dam: Bella Chianti, by Empire Maker
2nd Dam: Bella Chiarra, by Phone Trick
3rd Dam: Bannockburn, by Count Brook
($125,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable, Siena Farm LLC; B-Jack Mandato & Black Rock Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-John R Velazquez. $450,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $552,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Barber Road, 117, c, 3, Race Day–Encounter, by Southern Image. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($15,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV). O-WSS Racing LLC; B-Susan Forrester & Judy Curry (KY); T-John Alexander Ortiz. $150,000.
3–Ben Diesel, 117, c, 3, Will Take Charge–Girls Secret, by Giant's Causeway. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O/B-Willis Horton Racing LLC (KY); T-Dallas Stewart. $75,000.
Margins: 1HF, 1 1/4, 2 3/4. Odds: 1.50, 11.80, 5.00.
Also Ran: Kavod, Dash Attack, Classic Moment, Call Me Jamal, Osbourne, Costa Terra, Vivar, Ignitis, Don'tcrossthedevil. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:
The second-least-expensive of 28 colts purchased for a combined $11,250,000 ($401,786 average) by the Avengers at the 2020 Keeneland September sale, Newgrange is one of Violence's 13 graded stakes winners. The Avengers have also shown an affinity for, and had significant success with, sire Empire Maker. The excellent broodmare sire influence is responsible for the dams of 30 graded winners, including 2021 GISWs Silver State (Hard Spun), Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}). The winner's unraced dam is a daughter of Grade II winner Bella Chiarra (Phone Trick). She produced another Violence colt last April before being bred to War of Will.

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