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Belmont Stakes: Big win for pioneering partnership group Dogwood
By Nicole Russo
The excitement of Palace Malice's Belmont Stakes victory was enjoyed by more individuals than the average classic winner, as Cot Campbell, president of the trailblazing Dogwood Stables partnership, was joined by several partners on the winning podium following the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Campbell, who began syndicating horses in 1969 before forming Dogwood in 1973, is generally regarded as the originator of high-end racing partnerships. His partners in Palace Malice are Carl Myers, Paul Oreffice, Charlie Pigg, Mike Schneider, and Margaret Smith.
"This is the mother of all great moments," Campbell, 85, said. "I'm proud of Dogwood and for my great partners, Snyder and Oreffice and Smith and Pigg and Myers. I'm proud of Aiken, South Carolina—they'll be dancing in the streets right now! And I'm proud of [Todd Pletcher], one of the great trainers of all time, and for [Mike Smith], one of the great riders. And for the horse. The horse, the horse, I'm so proud of him."
Dogwood purchased Palace Malice from Niall Brennan, agent, for $200,000 out of the 2012 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training. The Curlin colt, from the first crop of his sire, was previously a $25,000 purchase at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale by Colin Brennan, agent.
Palace Malice gave Dogwood its second victory in a Triple Crown event. The outfit's previous classic success came with Summer Squall, who finished second to Unbridled in the 1990 Kentucky Derby before winning the Preakness Stakes. Dogwood's only prior Belmont starter was Impeachment, who Pletcher saddled to a fifth-place finish in the 2000 edition of the race.
Dogwood, which is based out of Aiken, S.C., also campaigned 1996 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and champion Storm Song; and additional Grade 1 winners Wallenda, Trippi, Southjet, Nassipour, and Cotton Blossom. Campbell, a native of New Orleans, was honored with the 2012 Eclipse Award of Merit for his accomplishments in the game.
With Campbell now semi-retired, Dogwood announced last year that it would form a joint venture with Aron Wellman and Lee Midkiff's Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Under the arrangement, Dogwood members are able to buy shares in Eclipse runners, with the latter partnership, in turn, gaining access to Dogwood's training base in Aiken. The venture also streamlines both groups' financial operations under a single manager.
Congratulations Dogwood. Previous victory a maiden 11 months ago, not inspiring