Some observers found the results rather unsatisfying, given that Whitmore had broken through the gate prior to the official start and that Volatile was allowed to get away with an opening quarter in :23.46, downright leisurely by the standards of top sprinters. Yet to his credit, Volatile accelerated through each quarter of the race, running the second two panels in :23.21 and the final quarter in :22.94. Further, he had set a stakes record in the Aristides, blowing through that race in a torrid 1:07.57, a performance that had made him a 2-5 favorite in the Vanderbilt. If he did not show quite that kind of foot in the Vanderbilt, he also never looked threatened at any time during the race and coasted through the final strides.
A son of Violence, Volatile is from a family that has had its fair share of individuals that could show wicked speed, that of Dangerous Dame. A precocious and speedy daughter of Nasrullah from 1946 Irish champion 2-year-old filly Lady Kells, Dangerous Dame produced two good stakes winners in 1959 Kentucky Oaks winner Hidden Talent and 1959 Matron Stakes winner Heavenly Body, both by 1953 Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star. Through these two fillies, Dangerous Dame's family extends to horses such as 1986 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Too Bald; champions Capote, Lake Country and Myasha; and Grade/Group 1 winners Broad Brush, Exceller, Sakhee, River Memories, and Bob and John.
Dangerous Star, a full sister to Hidden Talent and Heavenly Body, was much less accomplished than either of her sisters, failing to place in her only start. She improved on her race record in the paddocks, producing two stakes winners. More importantly, her Lucky North daughter Star of My Eye produced Lady Tak (by Argentine champion sire Mutakddim), a top-class sprinter-miler whose victories included the 2003 Test Stakes (USA-G1) and the 2004 Ballerina Stakes (USA-G1). Both races were contested over 7 furlongs at Saratoga. Lady Tak, in turn, is the dam of Group 2-placed Japanese stakes winner A Shin Spartan (by Zensational) and of Melody Lady (by Unbridled's Song), winner of the 2013 El Paso Times Handicap at Sunland Park and the dam of Volatile. Still in production, Lady Tak most recently foaled a Maclean's Music colt on March 9, and her youngest foal to race is her 3-year-old daughter Casual (by Curlin), a winner of two of three starts before running unplaced in the Longines Acorn Stakes (USA-G1) on June 20.
Melody Lady has also not been idle. Previously the dam of Grade 3-placed stakes winner Buy Sell Hold (by Violence), she is also represented by the 3-year-old colt Soccer Dad (by Bayern), who ran second in his only start at 2. The mare has an unraced 2-year-old, the Bayern colt Grendel, and produced a filly by Army Mule on February 7.
While Volatile could possibly stretch out to a mile and perhaps a little more on paper, his future in 2020 appears to lie in the sprint division, where he is already being talked of as a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (USA-G1). More immediately, one juicy possibility is a clash with the brilliant Vekoma in the 7-furlong Forego Stakes Presented by America's Best Racing (USA-G1) on August 29. If it happened, Vekoma---already the winner of the Runhappy Carter Handicap (USA-G1) over 7 furlongs and the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (USA-G1) at a mile---would probably rule as favorite, but Volatile has already done enough to prove himself dangerous regardless of the competition and should be a worthy contender in American racing's fastest division.