15-1 shot Palace Malice scored a 3 1/4-length win over Preakness winner Oxbow in the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes; Kentucky Derby winner and 2-1 favorite Orb finished third. Winning time for the 1 1/2 mile route on a fast track was 2:30.70.
After a disappointing 12th-place finish with Palace Malice in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher skipped the Preakness with the colt and made the decision to run him in the Belmont without the blinkers he had added for the Derby.
“Removing the blinkers made all the difference,” said Palace Malice’s Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, 47, who won the 2010 Belmont on Drosselmeyer and finished second in 2012 on Paynter. “He was full of run all the way home.”
Owned by Dogwood Stables, Palace Malice broke his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths at Saratoga, in his second start at two. In February, he finished third by a half-length in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds, and in April was second by a neck to Javas War in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes.
One of a record five entries for Pletcher in the race, Palace Malice is from the first crop of 2-time Horse of the Year Curlin.
“(Palace Malice) had been the best two-year-old in the barn; I always felt he had a big win in him,” said Pletcher, who won the 2007 Belmont Stakes with Rags to Riches, the first filly to claim the race in 100 years.
Pletcher’s other 2013 Belmont entries finished fifth (second-favorite Revolutionary); sixth (Unlimited Budget); seventh (Overanalyze); and twelfth (Midnight Taboo). All except Midnight Taboo at 27-1 went to post with shorter odds than Palace Malice.
The order of finish: Palace Malice; Oxbow; Orb; Incognito; Revolutionary; Unlimited Budget; Overanalyze; Vyjack; Golden Soul; Will Take Charge; Giant Finish; Midnight Taboo; Freedom Child; Frac Daddy.