03/08/2014 6:33PM

Palace Malice re-rallies late to win Gulfstream Park Handicap

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Barbara D. Livingston
Palace Malice (right) re-rallies to win the Gulfstream Park Handicap over Uncatpured (center) and Golden Ticket.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Palace Malice proved he was as game as he is versatile, re-rallying in the shadow of the wire after relinquishing the lead to register a well deserved head victory over 2012 Travers winner Golden Ticket in Saturday’s $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Making his first start since finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Palace Malice was prominently placed from the outset of the one-mile Gulfstream Park Classic. With jockey John Velazquez aboard for the first time, Palace Malice stalked early leaders Falling Sky and Itsmyluckyday through a 23.34-second opening quarter and 45.46 half-mile. Palace Malice forged to the lead while three wide nearing the quarter pole but lost the advantage when headed by Uncaptured upon settling into the stretch. He then re-asserted himself while racing nearest the rail to outfinish both Uncaptured and Golden Ticket, who had joined the top pair from the outside at midstretch.

Golden Ticket, slowest to begin, rallied wide into the stretch, came up on even terms with Palace Malice in late stretch, but was not quite good enough. Uncaptured, who eased off the early leaders in the run down the backstretch, made a quick move to gain a short advantage approaching the eighth pole before succumbing grudgingly nearing the wire. He ultimately finished third, a half-length behind Golden Ticket.

Itsmyluckyday, making his first start since suffering a season-ending injury in the Grade 3 Pegasus in June, gave way after six furlongs and finished a tiring fourth. Falling Sky, winner of the Gulfstream Park Sprint Handicap in his previous start, stopped badly and finished seventh and last.
Palace Malice, who is owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, completed a mile in 1:33.80, just .67 of a second off the recently established track record, and returned $4.60.

“He pressed solid fractions carrying topweight and was a little wide, they made a couple of runs at him, and he fought back,” Pletcher said. “It was a heck of a horse race and a huge effort off the layoff. Those are good horses, too. You got a Travers winner and a Prince of Wales winner and a runner-up in the Preakness. This was a big race, I thought. He put himself in the game early, which we wanted to do, and ran every step of the way. It’s pretty rare you have a horse who can win the Belmont and also stalk solid fractions and win going a mile in 1:33 and change.”

Pletcher said “everything’s in play” as far as Palace Malice’s upcoming itinerary was concerned, mentioning such races as the New Orleans Handicap, the Oaklawn Handicap, and even the Met Mile as possible options.

Kenny More than 1 year ago
Cruz on Golden Ticket.....guy not a jock you want riding at Gulf, you cant win in the 4-5 path at that track.....watch the replays of hundreds of races run there this season
jttf More than 1 year ago
uncaptured's race calls consist of 2nd, 5th, 3rd 1st and 3rd. this is called Z pattern handicapping angle ....sponcered by jttf. thatsa fact jack
Scott More than 1 year ago
This was a really fun race to watch. I was sure Itsmyluckyday needed a race and it's clear that was the case. I look forward to seeing him up to 9F's. He is good enough to contend at 9F's and under in my opinion. Hope he gets all the way back. Very nice comeback race for Palace Malice. This horse failed to show consistency pretty much the whole year last year, but one thing was clear: the talent is there. He showed heart digging in to come back after being passed in the stretch and that is always encouraging. I'm hoping he can find some consistency and health the rest of the year. He has the talent to compete in any of Grade 1 race they choose.
jttf More than 1 year ago
he didnt have much of a chance in between horses. he runs his best races after plesa gives him one mile works.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
I always love to see horses get headed down the stretch and show how good they really are and come back!! all the more sweeter for the connections! well done Palace Malace!
jttf More than 1 year ago
everyone here doesnt understand how to watch a race. please watch the video again and keep your eye on number 3, uncaptured. 5 frontrunners are on the lead. the horses in between have little chance of winning. midway around the turn, uncaptured is cutoff on the rail and checks sharply. he loses momentum and more than 5 lengths. he then angles out to the deeper middle of the track and gets the lead before he is tanked. now look at uncaptured's past performances and tell me that he should have been overmatched. pletcher's older horses go all out after a long layoff. this was all palace malice had to offer ? another free handicapping session.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I watched the reply 3 times. Other horses were picking up the pace and he was not. He did lose rail position as he could not keep ,pace with those. No he was not checked sharply. The jockey took him from the rail to the outer path to get clear run. another free handicapping session... well, we got our moneys worth LMAO
martymar . More than 1 year ago
Maybe you should watch the replay again, Luis had to slow down uncaptured to angle out because he notices the 5 started to slow down and block them on the rail.
Electrocutionst More than 1 year ago
Uncaptured had all kinds of momentum around the far turn, regardless if he lost momentum or not when he pulled back.
Perl More than 1 year ago
I have been snakebit with this horse. I bet him in the derby at 24-1 and smith went bonkers with him on the front end. Then I didn't bet him in the Belmont or Dandy but had him singled to complete a massive pic 4 in the Travers and he missed the break and lost by a length. Then I bet him to win in the Gold Cup and Rob The Greek gets a perfect inside run and freaks. Since then I haven't bet him. That's sometimes the way the cookie crumbles. Anyway very talented horse.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Let's hope PM stays sound all year and makes it to the BCC. Would love to see PM, WTC, MMM, & Dude face off in November. That would be a treat
Mark More than 1 year ago
He did exactly shat game on Cuse has never dine. Shown heart . Got headed and came back on them . Unlike dude who folds up like a cheap suit every time he has faced pressure from the go . PM all heart AND ability.
jttf More than 1 year ago
put palace on the turf. if top billing makes a full recovery, he should also go turf.
Electrocutionst More than 1 year ago
Weird comment. Why put Palace Malice when he's ran his whole career on dirt? Not a chance in hell will they run him on grass, ever.
jttf More than 1 year ago
curlins kids look better on the turf. curlins daddy is smart strike. english channels daddy is smart strike. his dam sire is the daddy of palace malice's dam sire (theatrical). english channel only won 6 grade 1 races. this included the breeders cup turf where he won by 7 lengths against european horses on a yeilding track. how do you beat the arc de triumphe winner on a bog? how many of pletchers derby trail horses run well at ages 4 and 5 ? english channel did. now who made the foolish comment ??
Mark More than 1 year ago
Ever here of stud fee ?
Electrocutionst More than 1 year ago
It's not a foolish comment, I'm telling you the truth. Just because you want them to go to the turf, because of pedigree, it won't happen. For all the grass pedigree you talk of, how much money did Curlin earn on the DIRT?
jttf More than 1 year ago
did ya see the china doll stakes race on saturday at santa anita ? dearsy wins over a smart strike filly whose mom is nashoba. who is also the mother of nashoba's key. nashoba's key was an awesome filly. street sense, congaree, and point given are dirt horses who are turf sires. if you dont have any facts, it makes you look really bad. it isnt everyday when pletcher and campbell need some good advice.
Electrocutionst More than 1 year ago
LOL, facts or no facts, are these horses going to run on the grass? answer is no
Perl More than 1 year ago
Survey says......bzzzzt! The horse clearly loves running on dirt and that's where the money is. -1
Perl More than 1 year ago
Talking about palace malice. No opinion on top billing.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Who did he beat, a bunch of tomato cans, LOL. He barely beat a bung of 40k claimers.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Well I agree golden ticket is probably a G2 horse but he loves as mile and did "win" the Travers in a dead heat (although Alpha clearly won the photo). He also placed in the BC turf mile (glorified G2 race). Not a super strong field but the horse had a horrible trip and was very game.
Scott More than 1 year ago
This actually was a pretty good field by today's standards. Consider the track too and you have to gush over the speed that showed up in this field. Falling Sky absolutely romped in his last out, Uncaptured showed that he is worthy of looking at when he runs at Gulfstream, especially when you consider his versatility (remember last time out, he was the unexpected pacesetter). Golden Ticket was the horse I nearly bet on, because I thought the race would set up perfectly for him. Believe me, I was kicking myself for not betting him (or anyone) when he made the lead in the stretch, but was releaved a second or two later when Palace Malice showed some real grit coming back after being past (not unlike his Daddy Curlin did in the Preakness). And finally, one horse that I think is going to be a very nice miler and a threat up to 9F's is Itsmyluckyday. He loves Gulfstream Park and this field seemed within his ability, but I figured he would need at least one race to get fully back up to speed. The bottomline for me is that when healthy and tuned up, there were two solid Grade 1 horses in this race: Palace Malice and Itsmyluckyday and quite a few that on the right day are talented enough to win too: Falling Sky (1 mile or less though), Uncaptured and Golden Ticket is one of those horses that could strike when the conditions are right for sure. Pretty solid field really. Honestly, if you ask me: this field at a mile was actually deeper than the Big Cap was. Significance was obviously the Big Cap, but after the top 3 horses, there really was very little to look at. I still think that if there was pace in the race at all, then Stevens wouldn't have had to move MMM early and he would have at least hit the board rather than fading to 4th. Do you think Blingo is a legit Grade 1 horse? Or any other horse in that field.