Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Palace Malice Captures the 145th Belmont Stakes

Posted by Brian Appleton on June 9, 2013

Palace Malice Belmont “A SON OF CURLIN’S GOING TO WIN THE BELMONT! CURLIN’S SON IS GOING TO WIN THE BELMONT!” I’m sure the entire apartment building was aware of my allegiance during the stretch drive of the 145th Belmont Stakes, but the high-pitched decibels I was giving off was just my way of expressing my joy in its rawest form. The 145th Belmont Stakes could not have ended any better for me personally. I have made no secret of my adoration for Curlin and his offspring and watching Palace Malice capture the final jewel of the Triple Crown provided the most gratifying flow of emotions I have experienced in racing since watching Curlin and Rachel Alexandra campaigning across the nation.

Palace Malice has been on the brink of winning a big race all year long and today, at Belmont Park on the big sandy oval, he finally seized his moment to shine. The entire field of 14 broke cleanly from the gate as long-shot Frac Daddy jumped straight to the lead with fellow long-shot Freedom Child in close pursuit. Palace Malice with Hall of Fame Rider Mike Smith aboard worked his way up from the 12 post to rate patiently in fourth going into the first turn as Preaknes Stakes winner Oxbow and jockey Gary Stevens moved quickly past Freedom Child and into second. Kentucky Derby winner Orb raced second to last down the backside as Frac Daddy set blazing fractions of :23.11 for the opening quarter and :46.66 for the half mile. Oxbow took command shortly after the half mile marker with Freedom Child making a brief bid to move with him, but ultimately fading away. Mike Smite meanwhile allowed Palace Malice to edge up into third as the field approached the final turn with Oxbow still in the lead. From the back of the pack Orb began to unleash an impressive rally, moving into contention quickly as the homestretch loomed large. Palace Malice though continued to gain ground on Oxbow, moving with fluid, even strides on the outside to take command as the field came roaring into the stretch with the crowd on its feet. Down the long Belmont homestretch Palace Malice continued to slowly extend his lead, showing obvious signs of tiring as he approached the wire, but nevertheless holding on to win by more than three lengths over a very game Oxbow, with Orb another 1 ¾ lengths back in third.

So there we have it. The 145th Belmont Stakes has been written in to the history books and a son of the great Curlin snatched the win at odds of 13-1. Palace Malice has assured his place in history and I for one am very excited at what his future might hold. He has natural speed that enables him to stay close to the pace and has proven on multiple occasions now that he can run on or close to the lead with fast fractions. The final time for the Belmont was a very slow 2:30.70, but that can’t dampen my enthusiasm for his win. For Curlin to get a Grade 1 classic winner in his very first crop of foals is a huge moment of pride for me. With the Preakness winner finishing second and the Derby winner finishing third in the Belmont, I think that the top three year olds have validated their performances in the Classics this year and have shown admirable consistency. When asked directly after the running of the Belmont what he thought helped Palace Malice finally find the winners circle, Mike Smith said it was removing the blinkers. I for one was relieved when I heard he would be running without the blinkers, as I’m sure many others were too and without the extra equipment in the way the beautiful bay colt was able to rate, relax and pounce his way to a perfect Belmont score.

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10 Responses to “Palace Malice Captures the 145th Belmont Stakes”

  1. LANIE said

    I so agree Brian….Curlin’s grade one Belmont baby soothes the soul and gives hope to the spirit!!

    • Well said Lanie, I’ve probably watched the replay about every 20 minutes since he won 🙂 It’s still so inspiring! I felt like I was once again cheering Curlin on down the stretch and that’s an irreplaceable feeling!
      P.S. It’s great to see you on my blog again! 🙂

  2. Mary Zinke said

    Brian, Although Palace Malice was not my pick to win the Belmont, I enjoyed this blog very much due to your positive remarks about the Derby and Preakness winners placing in the Belmont, plus your positive outlook for the crop and your enthusiasm for not only this son of Curlin, one of your favorites, but of Thoroughbred racing in general which is my impression every time I read one of your blogs. I was right there near the finish line and I can honestly say, even with the slow time, and it looked to be a very tiring track, that win by Palace Malice was quite impressive, at least visually. I’m very glad that you were able to enjoy it. Hopefully, you’ll get to witness other wins of his in person.

    • Hi Mary, it’s great seeing you back again! 🙂
      Thank you, I’m glad my enthusiasm for the sport and the players shown through here. It was definitely written in the passion and excitement of the moment, but is still completely true. It must have been amazing to be there, I would have loved to make the trip, but unfortunately college has my funds drained pretty low at the moment, but I definitely made the most of it from home. I agree, visually he looked like he was making very easy work of that field and I can’t believe he won by more than three lengths!
      It should be interesting down the road to see him hopefully rematching with Orb and Oxbow, maybe in the Jim Dandy or Travers. Pletcher said his energy level is really good coming out of the Belmont so we might see him in the Jim Dandy in late July…that would be really fun.

      • Mary Zinke said

        Summer 3 year old stakes should be good this year, Brian. I usually look for speed that can last the 9f for the Haskell(thinking Verrazano is the type for that race; have to see how he preps in the Pegasus) and I look for one that can handle the “heavier” track at Saratoga for the Travers. Maybe your Palace Malice will be my Stay Thirsty or Alpha type. If I remember correctly, I had both of them picked to win the Travers even before their Derby tries. I might start taking a look now–good project, even though it’s more than two months early.

      • I agree Mary, I think she summer and fall will hold a lot of exciting fields for us. If Palace Malice improved over the course of the year the way Curlin did we could see him turn in a few really nice performances this year aside from the Belmont Stakes. I’m very eager to see Verrazano return to the track, his Derby performance really disappointed me, but I can’t blame him after that significant gash he received on his leg.

  3. http://nihawma.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/palace-malice-the-first-triple-crown-winner-of-curlin/
    Congratulations to the winning connections of Palace Malice. Thank you Curlin 🙂

    • Indeed, thank you Curlin…I hope to see many more of his winners down the road and I’m eager to see Palace Malice during his summer campaign.

      • Thanks for visiting.
        Rachel Alexandra’s first mating was with Curlin. I was so thrilled to see her first foal named “Jess’s Dream”., named after Jess Jackson, owner of Curlin and Rachel Alexandra. I’m excited and cannot wait any longer to see his maiden race next year.

      • That will be a very exciting debut indeed, I’m looking forward to seeing their colt reach the track very much!

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