Making his move just before the final turn and stretch on the one and half-mile track, Palace Malice roared to a victory Saturday afternoon in the 145th Belmont Stakes.
Previously 1-3-1 in seven starts this year, Palace Malice became the seventh Belmont winner to participate in the Kentucky Derby but skip the Preakness.
Jockey Mike Smith earned the second Belmont victory of his career, after riding in his first 23 years ago. Smith previously won in 2010 with Drosselmeyer in 2010, and came in second atop Thirty Six Red in 1990.
The three-year-old Palace Malice came in 12th at the Derby, and was greatly affected by the slop in that race. A much drier, faster track gave Palace Malice the boost he needed.
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Despite slipping to 9/1 odds, Preakness winner Oxbow finished second and Derby champ Orb came in third, as both were heavy favorites.
Palace Malice was one of five horses amongst the strong field trained by Todd Pletcher, who also won his second Triple Crown jewel at Belmont. Back in 2007 he won his first with filly Rags to Riches.
Orb was the overall favorite heading to the race after winning the Derby, and eventually became a 2/1 safe bet before the start. He took the lead just at at the half-mile mark, but Freedom Child kept pace, with Palace Malice lurking.
Late entry Frac Daddy and Freedom Child held the lead coming out of the gate and around the first turn. However that good start did not translate well for Frac Daddy who finished last.
Revolutionary was the top contender among Pletcher’s lot, but he faded late before the mile mark.
None of the horses showed any signs of slowing down due to the weather. The track was updated to fast, with two days of rain eventually drying out and increasing the pace of the race.
The video above shows the race in its entirety.