It appears that Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice is ready to step up to the plate against his elders.

The multiple graded stakes winner had his final work this past Saturday, in preparation for this Saturday’s 1 1/4-mile, $750,000 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park.

The Grade 1 winner, worked a half-mile in 49.29 seconds at Belmont Park, and seems more than up to the challenge of facing older horses for the first time in his career, said W. Cothran Campbell, Dogwood Stable president.

“He galloped out with his usual gusto, which is the important thing,” said Campbell. “He went the first eighth real slow. He picked it up, and galloped out in 6-furlongs, I think in 1:16, someone said in 1:15. He’s rather remarkable, and I’ve never known a more durable horse that thrives on what he’s doing. His enthusiasm level has never wavered. He’s the epitome of what you want, and what you dream about and what you want in a Thoroughbred racehorse. I don’t know why he doesn’t have a good shot to win this race.”

Big Screen scored his first stakes victory last Saturday, with a determined effort in the 1-mile Who’s to Pay Stakes at Belmont Park, and the 4-year-old seems to be getting better with age, said Campbell.

“He deserved to win a stake,” said Campbell. “He’s been second in one, third in one, and then he won one, and was disqualified, and should have been. He’s by the right horse (Speightstown) to make himself valuable as a stallion later on.”

The gray colt may be taking a respite from the races in the near future, said Campbell.

“Now, we’re faced with the dilemma of being able to find a race for him,” said Campbell. “At some point, he needs to come to Aiken for a couple of months, I need to figure out pretty soon with Tommy Albertrani, who trains him, if this wouldn’t be a good time. In the spring, it’s far more productive, as there are races everywhere.”