Malice Fuels Belmont Victory

By June 10, 2013

Palace Malice won the 145th Belmont Stakes on June 9. Preakness winner Oxbow finished second, and Kentucky Derby champ Orb third.

Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Palace Malice was leading for most of the race, then exploded in the homestretch to win by 3 ¼ lengths in a time of 2:30.70. The Belmont offs a purse of  $1 million and is the longest race in the Triple Crown seroes at 1 ½ miles.

Palace Malice finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby and sat out the Preakness. Observers think the break gave him an edge, although it did not help his odds, which were 13-to-1.

Palace Malice pounds down the homestretch flashing green and yellow silks.

Palace Malice owned by Dogwood Stables.

Palace Malice trainer Todd Pletcher won the Belmont in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches. The horse’s sire is Curlin, who won the Preakness that year, and narrowly lost the Belmont in a furious stretch duel with the Pletcher filly.

“It was an emotional win for me because of the Dogwood connection,” said Pletcher, referring to Palace Malice’s Aiken, SC-based ownership, Dogwood Stable. “They supported me from the very beginning and to win a big race for them is really gratifying.”

Dogwood has entered eight horses in seven Kentucky Derbies, but its only other win in a Triple Crown race came in 1990 with Summer Squall. And Pletcher had a big afternoon on Long Island, NY, with three other horses and a filly (Unlimited Budget) in the race.

Palace Malice returned $29.60 on a $2 bet to win, earning $600,000 for Dogwood and its 86-year-old owner Cot Campbell.

“It’s the mother of all great moments, I’ll tell you that,” Campbell said at a press conference after the victory. “I’m proud for Dogwood and for my great partners…and I’m proud for Aiken S.C, where they’ll be dancing in the streets. And I’m proud of Todd, one of the greatest trainers of all time, and Mike Smith, one of the great riders. And for the horse! The horse, the horse, I’m so proud of him!”

According to a report in the Augusta Chronicle, Smith phoned Campbell to apologize the day after the Kentucky Derby, explaining that “he either had to get in a fight with the horse to hold him back or let him go and hope he settled down.” In the days before th e race Campbell concluded  to the Chronicle “there couldn’t be a headier, more experienced cool customer than Mike Smith and said he hoped he’d prove it on Saturday afternoon.

Finish Post Horse Jockey Trainer
1 12 Palace Malice Mike Smith Todd Pletcher
2 7 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas
3 5 Orb Joel Rosario Shug McGaughey
4 6 Incognito Irad Ortiz Jr. Kiaran McLaughlin
5 9 Revolutionary Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher
6 13 Unlimited Budget Rosie Napravnik Todd Pletcher
7 3 Overanalyze Johh Velazquez Todd Pletcher
8 11 Vyjack Julien Leparoux Rudy Rogriguez
9 14 Golden Soul Robby Albarado Dallas Stewart
10 10 Will Take Charge Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas
11 4 Giant Finish Edgar Prado Anthony Dutrow
12 8 Midnight Taboo Garrett Gomez Todd Pletcher
13 2 Freedom Child Luis Saez Tom Albertrani
14 1 Frac Daddy Alan Garcia Ken McPeek

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