Palace Malice unrelenting

| June 19, 2013
Palace Malice wins the Belmont Stakes, New York

Palace Malice wins the Belmont Stakes, New York

Palace Malice took charge on the turn for home and won the Belmont Stakes in unrelenting style, beating Preakness winner Oxbow and Kentucky Derby winner Orb.

The win gave Todd Pletcher his second Belmont winner in six years, and vindicated the trainer’s support of a 3-year-old who came into the final leg of the Triple Crown with only one win.

Palace Malice, who finished 12th in the Derby and skipped the Preakness, covered the 1½ miles in a slow 2:30.70 on a fast track following a 24-hour downpour.

Palace Malice, ridden by Mike Smith and sent off at odds of 13-1, returned $29.60, $11.20 and $6.70. The colt was one of a record five entries by Pletcher.

Palace Malice closed strong and pulled away on the final stretch to win the $1 million Grade 1 2013 Belmont Stakes. Ridden by jockey Mike Smith, Palace Malice won the final leg of the Triple Crown after skipping the Preakness Stakes.

A pair of Hall of Fame jockeys were just about nose to nose as their horses hit the middle of the final turn of the Belmont Stakes.

Gary Stevens, aboard Preakness winner Oxbow, was going to relinquish the lead to the hard-charging Palice Malice, and he knew it. He glanced over to his right and looked at good friend Mike Smith and told him: “You go on with him big boy, you’re moving better than me.”

Palice Malice seized the lead with a quarter-mile to go Saturday in the final leg of the Triple Crown and ran off to a 3¼-length victory over Oxbow at Belmont Park, with Kentucky Derby winner Orb another 1¾ lengths back in third.

“Mike rode a superb race,” Stevens said. “Midway around the turn, I said, ‘Well maybe.’ But I have ridden long enough to know that he (Oxbow) was going to walk home. To finish second, I am really surprised.”

Palice Malice, who came into the race with only one win in seven starts, vindicated trainer Todd Pletcher’s support of the 3-year-old colt despite a 12th place finish in the Derby.

“It’s huge. It’s huge,” Pletcher said about his second Belmont win. “We always felt like he had a big one in him. We were just waiting for it to finally develop. I told (owner) Mr. (Cot) Campbell this horse is training unbelievable. I know he’s got a big run, we just need to put it all together.”

Palace Malice, who skipped the Preakness, covered the 1½ miles in a slow 2:30.70 on a fast track following a 24-hour downpour. A crowd of 47,562 turned out on a warm, sunny afternoon as Tropical Storm Andrea moved out of the area.

Running with the blinkers off, Palace Malice ran a clean race. He was near the lead for the majority of the race, making the final turn neck-and-neck with Oxbow. Palace Malice, however, pulled away down the stretch and was able to outrun Oxbow and pre-race favorite Orb to win the 145th Belmont Stakes.

Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner and betting favorite, surged late in the race and ultimately finished third. Oxbow was unable to follow up on his Preakness Stakes victory and couldn’t match Palace Malice’s pace down the stretch, but was still able to finish ahead of Orb for second place.

Palace Malice opened with 15/1 odds to win the race and ultimately went off with the same odds.

 


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Category: International

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