Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice always showed class. Those were the words of Niall Brennan of Niall Brennan Stables in Ocala, Fla. The horseman who broke and trained the multiple stakes placed horse, saw something special in the colt when he purchased him as a yearling for $25,000, at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Palace Malice will be among the field of 20 starters for the 139th running of the 1 ¼-mile, $2 million, Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4.


“He was a good looking yearling, and I was surprised I was able to buy him,” said Brennan. “After we broke him and got him going, you could see he was a smooth horse, athletic and a good mover. He was young in his mind. He’s only a May foal, but you could see he had a large frame, and that’s why we thought he would benefit from time.”


Brennan decided to enter the bay colt in a later sale rather than in an earlier juvenile auction, giving Palace Malice more time to develop. The horseman consigned the son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin to the 2012 Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.


“He always showed class, and he performed well at Keeneland, you could see it on the video,” said Brennan. “If you looked at him at the barn, you could see he was a good physical specimen, had good size and a good frame, and would mature with age.”


Dogwood Stable purchased Palace Malice from Brennan’s consignment for $200,000. The horse would go onto Legacy Stable’s Brad Stauffer for additional training at the Aiken Training Track.


The colt is out of the Royal Anthem mare Palace Rumor, and has demonstrated the ability to run well on multiple surfaces.


“He’s obviously a good dirt horse, and he seems to like the synthetic (surface),” said Brennan, who also broke and trained Kentucky Derby entries Orb and Revolutionary. “He worked well on the synthetic surface and showed a lot of talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did well on turf.”