Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice validated his class and quality on Saturday.
The son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin made his debut against older horses, and placed second in the 1¼-mile, $1,000,000, Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park, beaten 6¾-lengths by long-shot winner, Ron the Greek.
“I thought they ran very fast,” said W. Cothran Campbell, Dogwood Stable president. “It was a great race. It wasn’t our day. We were second best; second best because of the extra distance we traveled.”
However, if one were to evaluate the outcome of the race more closely, it would clearly show that Palace Malice turned in arguably the contest’s best performance, and made a resounding statement, one that will more than likely earn him a date in the 1¼-mile, $5,000,000, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 2.
Palace Malice is trained by 5-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher.
“The race was an example of his consistency,” said Campbell. “The race validates his class and quality. Todd said to me, ‘It’s going to be a different story in five weeks.’ Palace Malice will go to California, and then come back to Aiken for a vacation.”
The multiple-graded-stakes winner’s three wide trip, had the 3-year-old colt covering more ground than the race’s winner, in fact, 67 more feet than Ron the Greek, according to Trakus, a wireless horse tracking system. The 67 feet approximated 7 4/5-lengths.
Palace Malice broke cleanly, and came away in good order, stalking the early pacesetter, the 2012 Aiken Trained Horse of the Year, Alpha, finding himself in good position, but was second best to eventual winner Ron the Greek, settling for the place, finishing 1¾-lengths in front of Flat Out.