News and STORIES

Grade 1 Winner Volatile Forced to Retire Due to Injury

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Wednesday September 23, 2020

One of the top runners in horse racing, Three Chimneys Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds' grade 1 winner and stakes record-setter Volatile, has been retired due to injury. He is the winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1), where he went up against a field of all grade 1 winners at Saratoga Race Course.

The impressive runner had to be retired after he suffered a hairline fracture of his right cannon bone. He will now enter stud in 2021 at Three Chimneys. 

Volatile is a 4-year-old son of Hill' n' Sale Farms' sire Violence. Along with Speightstown, Violence is the co-leading North American sire by a number of 2020 grade 1 winners, as of Sept. 21. 

Volatile was bred in Kentucky by Hill' n' Dale Equine Holdings and Stretch Run Ventures, and he was his sire's most expensive yearling. He was sold to bloodstock agent Kerri Radcliffe and Three Chimneys at public auction for $850,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. 

Consistent Career

Volatile has been consistent throughout his career, holding a career record of five wins and one runner-up finish from six starts. He is undefeated in 2020, and his season has seen some impressive victories in the sprint division, most notable of which was the Vanderbilt. In that event, he registered a final quarter in 22.94. 

Prior to the Vanderbilt, he had a combined margin of victory of almost 16 lengths. Those victories included a stakes record and near-track record run in the Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs. 

He completed six furlongs in 1:07.57, just .02 off the track record, and he finished the final eighth-mile in 11.91. Volatile has total earnings of $341,040. 

The runner is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. He is the second-winningest trainer in North America, with a total of 9,000 wins. 

"He reminds me very much of Mitole in his championship season," Asmussen said. "Volatile is as fast as any horse I have ever trained. His brilliant performances this year would have made him the likely favorite for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) and a tough horse to beat. I trained his mother and his grandmother, the incredible Lady Tak, who won multiple Grade 1 races for us. You will not find a better-looking individual than Volatile, nor one with as much speed and raw talent."

Volatile is out of the Unbridled's Song stakes winner and stakes produced Melody Lady. She is the dam of Buy-Sell Hold as well, who is a graded-placed stakes-winning full sister to Volatile.

"Volatile is a beautiful horse that breeders will like when they see him. He exudes class and is a great physical. He was brilliant, and that is what can make a stallion special," said Gonçalo Torrealba, who is the owner of Three Chimneys. "Three Chimneys will proudly support him with plenty of quality mares, and I can guarantee that."

There still has not been a stud fee announced as of yet, and the farm will notify breeders when he is available for inspection. 

Keeneland September Yearling Sale

In other news, the Sept. 21 session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale followed suit and brought back solid numbers. It was the eighth day of sales. 

The ledger was topped at $320,000 by a Not This Time colt named Mardi Gras Time. In total, Keeneland reported 255 horses sold for $11,832,500, with an average of $46,402. The median was at $25,000, and 33 horses sold for six figures while the RNA rate was 23.9%.

Books 1-4 had 2,812 cataloged, and 1,619 yearlings have been sold for an aggregate of $233,556,200. The average price is $144,260, with a median of $80,000, and the cumulative RNA rate is 30.1%.