06/13/2013 3:39PM

Brad Free: Hollendorfer filly's big brother Palace Malice does good

Justin N. Lane
Palace Malice sets the pace in the Kentucky Derby before tiring and finishing 12th. He became the latest Derby pacesetter to return and win a Grade 1 stakes when he won the Belmont.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was not aware the Belmont Stakes on June 8 would be personally significant. Hollendorfer was busy in California, where his stable had seven starters up and down the state. The Belmont was not on his mind.

“I wasn’t even paying attention,” Hollendorfer said. “It totally went over my head.”

In Florida this spring, Hollendorfer had purchased an unraced 2-year-old City Zip filly at an April sale. At the time, her 3-year-old half-brother was eligible to a first-level allowance race. He was not billed as a prospect for the Belmont.

Hollendorfer was not buying the filly on pedigree anyway.

“They always have to breeze good for me to like them,” Hollendorfer said. “And she’s a big, beautiful filly.”

She was by a good sire in City Zip. A few City Zips in California turned out okay, including fillies Unzip Me and Reneesgotzip.

Hollendorfer liked how the unraced filly looked, and paid $60,000. He owns 50 percent with a partner. The filly is unnamed, and still hundreds of miles away at Pegasus Training Center in Washington.

“She hasn’t done much breezing yet, “ Hollendorfer said. “She’s getting about ready to enter serious training. We’ll give her a name soon. I probably will start her out up here in Northern California with the hope she could make it to Southern California.”

The unnamed filly is out of the mare Palace Rumor, which makes her a half-sister to Belmont winner Palace Malice. What does it mean? It means nothing yet, according to Hollendorfer.

“You never know,” he said. “She’ll have to be able to run.”

Meanwhile, the handicapping notebook at Betfair Hollywood Park is full again, with stuff like this …

◗ Palace Malice reminded me of a handicapping angle related to Kentucky Derby speed. Churchill Downs’s Darren Rogers noted that horses good enough to set the pace in the Derby, regardless of finish, often are good enough to win Grade 1 races later on. Don’t believe it?

These Derby pacesetters since 1991 subsequently won Grade 1 races:

Year Horse (Derby finish) Grade 1 wins

1991 Sea Cadet (8th) Gulfstream Park Handicap, Meadowlands Cup

1996 Honour and Glory (18th) Metropolitan Handicap

1997 Free House (3rd) Pacific Classic, Santa Anita Handicap

2000 Hal’s Hope (16th) Gulfstream Park Handicap

2002 War Emblem (1st) Preakness, Haskell

2004 Lion Heart (2nd) Haskell

2007 Hard Spun (2nd) King’s Bishop

2008 Bob Black Jack (16th) Malibu

2011 Shackleford (4th) Preakness, Clark, Metropolitan

2013 Palace Malice (12th) Belmont


◗ A few good handicappers picked Palace Malice in the Belmont, including two from this publication. Daily Racing Form ’s Kenny Peck and Chuck Kuehhas nailed the $29.60 winner. Hope they bet.

◗ When is a Grade 1 weaker than a $70,000 stakes in the same division?

It happens this weekend at Hollywood, where the Vanity on Saturday includes no Grade 1 winners. On Sunday, the ungraded Desert Stormer includes Grade 1 winners Include Me Out and Teddy’s Promise, as well as graded winners Via Villagio, Winding Way and Shumoos.

◗ Quick, without looking it up, can you name the filly that won the Vanity last year? Me neither. The most recent graded stakes winner trained by Myung Kwon Cho is the answer to the question.

Love Theway Youare returned $38.

◗ The five most-recent Vanity winners rallied from last, or next to last. Is there is closer’s bias in the Vanity? Not really. Zenyatta won three straight years (2008-10), followed in 2011 by Blind Luck, and 2012 by what’s-her-name.

◗ The Vanity this year is soft. It’s a good spot for Cushion Track specialist Esentepe to go from a second-level allowance victory to the winner’s circle for a Grade 1.

◗ Azeri won the Vanity twice (2002-03), but her broodmare career did not match her 17-win, $4 million, Racing Hall of Fame racing career. Azeri’s best foal is Wine Princess, who runs Saturday at Churchill Downs in the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis. It is not a deep race, only five entrants. Too bad for her one of them is Royal Delta.

◗ California stabling remains a hot topic, with Hollywood closing at the end of the year. Too bad those big empty parking lots at Santa Anita cannot be used for more stables. But geez – if stables were built in the parking lots, where else would weeds grow?

◗ Still waiting for someone to propose using Del Mar racetrack for year-round training and stabling. Oh, wait – the San Diego County Fair takes up residence at Del Mar every summer. Apparently, the fair cannot be moved.

◗ Irving Orozco is a jockey to keep your eye on. Orozco rode his 40th winner on Sunday, and the promising apprentice will be the top bug boy the next few months in Southern California. Orozco, 19, rides with a five-pound allowance through February. Stay tuned.

◗ Sure hope Orb does not turn out like Super Saver, Mine That Bird, Giacomo, or Monarchos. Those Kentucky Derby winners never won another important race. (The San Diego Handicap, won by Giacomo in 2006 at Del Mar, is not an “important” race.)

◗ The Hollywood Gold Cup will be run July 6, for the last time at Hollywood. Game On Dude remains the favorite, but the Californian win by Clubhouse Ride was no fluke. He is sharp. Clubhouse Ride worked five furlongs Thursday at Santa Anita in 59.60. Bullet.

◗ Successful Dan should win the Stephen Foster under lights Saturday night at Churchill Downs, right? Wonder if some future Hollywood Gold Cup will be run under the lights at Santa Anita in early July. Average high daytime temperature July in Arcadia: 85 degrees.

◗ Longshot bettors who back trainer Nick Zito in Breeders’ Cup races won’t like the choice of a third consecutive Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita in 2014. Zito has started 37 horses in the Breeders’ Cup (earning $5 million), but Zito has never started a horse in a Breeders’ Cup race in California.

◗ A fellow can feel nostalgic thumbing through old race charts. It was 10 years ago Saturday – June 15, 2003 – jockey Pat Valenzuela rode four winners at Hollywood Park, including Continental Red in the $100,000 Quicken Tree. Ontrack attendance: 10,579.