He’s tough as nails.


Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice will be returning to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Saturday.


The winner of the 145th Belmont Stakes appears to be in fine form, and will be prepared for his forthcoming challenges, with the next logical step being the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 2, Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on July 27, said W. Cothran Campbell, Dogwood Stable president.


“We don’t plan to work him until a week from Saturday, the 29th,” said Campbell. “I might have to work him before that. I might not be able to hold him on the ground. He’s a horse with an incredible constitution. He’s tough as nails. He’s sound and doing well.”


Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will be in the irons for Palace Malice’s next start, said Campbell.


Dogwood Stable’s second Classic victory continues to resonate with the winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award of Merit.


“I thought Palace Malice was coming into the race in perfect form,” said Campbell. “However, there were 13 other horses that were coming into it in good form. I had every reason to think he would run an excellent race.”


Dogwood Stable’s multiple stakes placed Big Screen will be returning in the 28th running of the $150,000, 1 1/8-mile, Grade 3 Poker Stakes on the turf at Belmont Park on July 4. The gray colt was disqualified and placed second in his previous start, after bumping in deep stretch with eventual winner Souper Speedy, in a race that had originally been carded for the turf but was moved to the main track because of the rainfall.


“We wanted to run him on the grass, in the Jaipur,” said Campbell. “We know he runs well on dirt. He seems to move way up on the grass.”


The horseman was confounded when the inquiry sign went up in the Jaipur, not being able to see the infraction from his vantage point.


“From the side, we couldn’t tell anything,” said Campbell. “We all said, ‘It must be the second or third place horse.’ Then I saw the rider standing about 40 feet away. I said, ‘Aah, ok. That’s not a good sign.’ When we saw the head on, we understood it perfectly. He should have been taken down.”