Palace Malice Reigns With Belmont Surprise

Palace Malice Reigns With Belmont Surprise

Palace Malice wins the 2013 Belmont Stakes.

Photo: Rick Samuels

A patient Palace Malice collared Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow coming out of the final turn and dominated the stretch run to post a convincing upset win in the $1 million Belmont Stakes June 8 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

It was the first victory over winners for Palace Malice. The son of Curlin raced without blinkers in the 1 1/2-mile event after setting a wicked pace in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands May 4 and fading to 12th.

The victory means that a different horse won each jewel of the 2013 Triple Crown. Oxbow was second, with Kentucky Derby winner Orb producing a mild rally from far back in the field of 14 3-year-olds to finish third. The final time was a slow 2:30.70 on a track upgraded to fast earlier in the afternoon after heavy overnight rains in New York.

Jockey Mike Smith, who finished second in all three Triple Crown races last year, picked up the victory for trainer Todd Pletcher and the ownership group Dogwood Stable.

"The key to the win was blinkers off," said Smith, who previously won the Belmont in 2010 aboard Drosselmeyer. "The Derby was a sneaky good race if you go back and look at it. This race, he was enjoying the whole trip. He was breathing it all in and he was so relaxed."

Pletcher entered a record five horses in this year's Belmont.

"It's huge," Pletcher said. "We always felt he had a big win in him. He just needed to put it all together."

Originally published on

About the Author

Jack Shinar

Jack Shinar is a frequent contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine and is part of their Digital Media department.

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