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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Palace Malice Cruises to Victory in The Belmont Stakes

Palace Malice completely changed his running style from the Derby, when he ran wildly on the lead while wearing blinkers for the first time. With the blinkers off, Palace Malice was able to relax behind the pace setters, take command midway through the final turn, and ultimately draw off to a 3¼ length victory in today's Belmont Stakes.

Todd Pletcher’s strategy was to rest his three year-olds after the Kentucky Derby, by skipping the Preakness, and to take aim on the Belmont Stakes. He went after the Triple Crown’s final race with a record five horses.
 
It was Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice that would give Pletcher and jockey Mike Smith their second Belmont Stakes victories. Pletcher won his first Belmont in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches and Mike Smith got his first with Drosselmeyer in 2010.
 
Pletcher described the race, “In the early part it went the way we anticipated it would in terms of where we were positioned. He was able to get him in a nice comfortable rhythm and travel along, pretty quickly, considering the distance, but he looked like he was in a good comfortable rhythm and that was the main focus.”
 
The race began with Freedom Child and Frac Daddy setting very fast early fractions of :23.11, :46.66, and 1:10.95. Oxbow would move and join the early leadings. Freedom Child and Frac Daddy could not survive the blistering pace and would end up finishing 13th and 14th, while Oxbow fought on gamely to finish second.
 
The win by Palace Malice gave his sire Curlin, a classic victory from his first crop of runners.
 
Even though the Belmont Stakes victory was only the second career win for Palace Malice, Pletcher remained confident in the ability of his colt. “I felt like he had a big one in him,” he said. “I kept waiting for it to materialize in the afternoon.” 

 

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Older Comments about Palace Malice Cruises to Victory in The Belmont Stakes...

Oxbow was super game. I can't wait to see how the summer stakes unfold!
Palace Malice earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure for the Belmont Stakes.
equip, change a nice running style for the track and out of curlin. a very nice win!
I would think all three Classic winners plus Normandy Invasion and a couple of others could meet in the Travers. This could be the best Travers in a long time, maybe since Java Gold and Alysheba. I just hope everyone stays healthy. The 150 year of Saratoga racing could really be special!
Always a challenge...anything can change in a few strides! Fun to watch and glad for Todd Pletcher.
Congratulations, Palace Malice. He won the ultimate Test. I first recognized this horse late last year when I checked the 2 year old poll to see horses sired by Smarty Jones, Ghostzapper, Curlin (PM's sire), Afleet Alex, etc., as I have a feeling one of those sires could produce the 12th Triple Crown winner

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 Meet Matt Shifman 
 
 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

 

Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

 

The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

   

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