If history is on his side, Dogwood Stable's Palace Malice has a good chance of running in the money, and a strong possibility of winning Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
The 3-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin drew post position No. 10, and there are a number of factors that suggest fate may be on Palace Malice's side. The bay colt was trained in Aiken by Legacy Stable's Brad Stauffer.
The 139th edition of the 1¼-mile, $2,199,800, Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, has an approximate post time at 6:24 p.m., and the broadcast will air on NBC Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.
The jockey factor is among those variables in the equation. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Palace Malice on Saturday. The horseman's lone Kentucky Derby win came in 2005 where he successfully piloted Giacomo to victory from none other than post position No. 10. There have been 10 previous winners from the 10 hole, with Morvich being the first in 1922, and two Triple Crown winners have won from the same post position, Omaha in 1935 and Secretariat in 1973. A total of 76 horses have started from post position No. 10, with 10 of those horses going on to win the Kentucky Derby. More than 30 percent of the horses breaking from the 10 hole in previous Kentucky Derbies have gone on to hit the board.
There have been 15 horses that have won the first race of their sophomore campaign in the Kentucky Derby, one of those being Morvich. The Dogwood runner has been multiple graded stakes placed, but has yet to win as a 3-year-old.
Palace Malice is trained by Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Super Saver, the winner of the 2010 Kentucky Derby, and, like Palace Malice, was coming into the Run for the Roses not having won a race at age 3.
The horse who draws post position No. 10 will also be loaded last into the starting gate in the field of 20 starters. Palace Malice is co-11th choice on the morning line at odds of 20/1.
Overanalyze, who drew post position No. 9, and will be the horse to Palace Malice's left, was the Dogwood Stable entry's workmate last Saturday for their final breeze in preparation for the race.