If Sunday’s workout is any indication of how Palace Malice will do in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, the competition will need to be at its best.
The multiple-graded stakes winner drew post position No. 8 for the 1¼-mile, $5 million race. The race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. will be broadcast in primetime on NBC, starting at 8 p.m., with post time at 8:35 p.m.
The 3-year-old colt campaigned by Dogwood Stable turned in an impressive work on Sunday morning. With exercise rider Anne Finney up, Palace Malice had the second-fastest work of the 64 horses breezing a half-mile. The Belmont Stakes winner covered the distance in 48.12.
“It was a an incredible work, and he never wavered,” said Cot Campbell, Dogwood Stable president. “Todd (Pletcher, Palace Malice’s trainer) said, he went five furlongs in 1:01, six furlongs in 1:14, and he said, he got on the radio, and Palace Malice galloped out in seven furlongs in 1:30. We’re doing great.”
Campbell would love nothing more than to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but would also like to finish ahead of Will Take Charge, with the 3-year-old male championship on the line.
“That Saratoga race (Travers Stakes) was frustrating,” Campbell said of the race where Palace Malice finished fourth and Will Take Charge won. “The final tally shows Will Take Charge won. So, we need to beat him. And we’ll get on with it. Let’s get started.”
In a perfect world, morning line favorite Game On Dude would have drawn a post position inside of Palace Malice. But Campbell said the No. 8 hole should be fine.
“Game on Dude should go clear of us, and we’ll lay behind,” said Campbell. “There’s good speed in the middle of the field. We’re happy with it. If I had my druthers, I would switch with Game On Dude.”
Palace Malice will return to Aiken on Nov. 8, and will work under tack at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. The public will be able to see him train over the Aiken Training Track.
“He’s going to be examined Nov. 6 at 7 a.m. at Rood & Riddle, and he’ll have a scintigraphy, and I think with that being the case, he would ship back on Nov. 8 and get in that evening,” said Campbell. “We’ll get him back here and give him a break. He’ll graze every afternoon at 1:30 p.m.”
AT A GLANCE
What: Breeders’ Cup Classic
Where: Sanata Anita Park; Arcadia, Calif.
Post time: Saturday, 8:35 p.m.
1. Last Gunfighter 20-1
2. Paynter 12-1
3. Planteur 20-1
4. Moreno 15-1
5. Declaration of War 10-1
6. Mucho Macho Man 5-1
7. Fort Larned 6-1
8. Palace Malice 10-1
9. Game On Dude 5-1
10. Will Take Charge 12-1
11. Ron the Greek 8-1
12. Flat Out 12-1