07/14/2013 10:58AM

Saratoga: Palace Malice has sharp workout for Jim Dandy

Barbara D. Livingston
Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice worked five furlongs in 1:00.32 on Sunday and is targeting the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 27.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Palace Malice moved to the forefront of the 3-year-old division with his victory in the Belmont Stakes and gave every indication that he may be even better during the second half of the season after working a very impressive five furlongs in 1:00.32 on Sunday at Saratoga. 

Palace Malice was one of 33 horses trainer Todd Pletcher worked over Saratoga’s main track Sunday. The group also included such notables as Princess of Sylmar, Kauai Katie, Authenticity, Overanalyze, Cross Traffic, and Unlimited Budget.

Palace Malice clearly was the star of the Pletcher show. Working by himself immediately after the renovation break under regular exercise rider Jake Nelson, Palace Malice completed his first eighth of a mile in a leisurely 13 seconds before really picking up the pace once entering the turn, completing his final four furlongs in 47.32 while going easily throughout.

The gallop-out, however, is what made Sunday’s work special, as Palace Malice continued on strongly past the wire, then into and around the turn, completing six furlongs in 1:13.09 and seven-eighths in 1:26.26 before pulling up a mile in 1:40.37.

“The horse is doing unbelievably well,” Pletcher said. “He bounced out of the Belmont better than ever, and everything’s gone exactly according to plan so far. He’s a May foal and just seems to be getting better and better with maturity.

“He’s always shown talent, and the more we do with him, the better he seems to get. I worked him alone for the first time when we breezed him after the Belmont, and he’s been doing great by himself, so there’s just no need to put him in company.”

Palace Malice is being pointed to the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 27.

Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar was one of Pletcher’s earlier workers, breezing in company with the older graded stakes-winning mare Authenticity. Dense fog obscured much of the course at the time, with the pair completing an easy half-mile in 48.40, with Authenticity a head in front at the wire.

Princess of Sylmar will make her next start in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks here Saturday.

“Her last couple of breezes have been very good,” Pletcher said. “She’s coming up to the Coaching Club in great order.”

Overanalyze also worked in the fog, cruising an easy half-mile in 50 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:03.40.

“We’re trying to build him back up, put a little weight back on him after the Belmont, and he’s making improvement all the time, so right now, we’ve got him scheduled for the West Virginia Derby on Aug. 3,” Pletcher said.

Overanalyze finished seventh, eight lengths behind Palace Malice, in the Belmont on June 8.

Kauai Katie was one of six other Pletcher horses to work after the renovation break, along with Palace Malice. She worked an easy half-mile in 49.23 in company with Unlimited Budget, the pair galloping out five-eighths in 1:02.20.

“Kauai Katie is on schedule for the Prioress, looks good,” Pletcher said, referring to the Grade 1 sprint July 27 at Saratoga. “Unlimited Budget is also training very well, and she’ll go in the Coaching Club as well.”

Cross Traffic, second, beaten a nose, in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap in his last start, worked a sharp five-eighths in 59.83 and galloped out six panels in 1:12.87 alongside Midnight Taboo.

“We’re gearing Cross Traffic up for the Whitney,” Pletcher said, referring to the Grade 1 route Aug. 3 at Saratoga. “We still need a couple of more works, but we’re on schedule.”

Pletcher said he’s looking forward to the Saratoga meet, which opens Friday.

“Saratoga’s a cool place,” he said. “We have some things to be excited about this summer, with some nice 3-year-olds and older horses, and getting the 2-year-olds ready is always fun, so, yeah, we’re looking forward to it.”

The Oklahoma turf course does not normally open here on the weekend, but trainer Chad Brown was given special permission to breeze his multiple graded stakes-placed mare, Dream Peace, who went a half-mile in 49.54 in company with stablemate Heart of New York on Sunday. The pair then galloped out extremely well around the turn, completing five-eighths in 1:01.11 and six furlongs in 1:13.67.

Dream Peace, winless but graded stakes-placed in all five of her U.S. starts, is being pointed for the Grade 1 Diana Handicap on July 27 at Saratoga. Dream Peace finished second while making her U.S. debut in the 2012 Diana.

“She prefers give in the ground,” Brown said. “In her first two races this year, she caught firm ground. She didn’t run bad but hasn’t run her race yet. The big deal with her will be the ground. I think the Diana is a race which makes sense for her. A mile and one-eighth is a perfect distance for this horse, and we’ll hope for some give in the ground by the time the race comes.”