Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice will have a new rider for the Blue Grass Stakes. The two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez will get the call for Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 race at Keeneland.
The son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin drew post position No. 5 in the field of 14 horses. Palace Malice will carry 123 pounds for the 11/8-mile race over Keeneland’s Polytrack Elite surface in his quest to accumulate enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
“I couldn’t have planned it any better,” Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell said Wednesday. “When they said post position No. 5, I was hoping they would say Palace Malice. We have a good jock, good post position, and if we avoid bad luck, he’ll be salty. I think he’ll like the racetrack. He did as a two year old.”
Palace Malice was trained in Aiken at the Aiken Training Track by Legacy Stable’s Brad Stauffer and is currently conditioned by five-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher. The bay colt is 8/1 on the morning line, the fourth choice in the field.
This will be Palace Malice’s fourth start of his sophomore campaign. He has one win, two seconds and one third from five lifetime starts, and has bankrolled $121,135.
But Palace Malice had a difficult trip in his last start, the Grade 2, $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby. Palace Malice was trapped behind rivals in the 11/8-mile race and eventually finished seventh. The bay colt his hoping to regain the form he displayed earlier in the year. The three-year-old colt finished third in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes in February, beaten only a half-length.
A winner in his second start as a juvenile at Saratoga Race Course, Palace Malice is out of the stakes winning Royal Anthem mare Palace Rumor, and was purchased by Dogwood Stable at the 2012 Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale from the consignment of Niall Brennan for $200,000.