07/21/2013 12:58PM

Saratoga: Palace Malice works for Jim Dandy

Barbara D. Livingston
Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice worked a half-mile in 49.69 seconds Sunday at Saratoga for Saturday's Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice completed his serious preparation for Saturday’s Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes by working a half-mile in 49.69 seconds Sunday over Saratoga’s main track.

Working by himself with regular exercise rider Jake Nelson up, Palace Malice went his first eighth in 13.29 and the first quarter in 25.00 before coming home through the stretch in 24.69. He proceeded to gallop out five furlongs in 1:01.93, six furlongs in 1:15.75, and pulled up seven-eighths in 1:30.51.

Trainer Todd Pletcher wasn’t looking for as much out of Sunday’s work as he was last week, when Palace Malice worked five furlongs in 1:00.32 and galloped out seven-eighths in 1:26.26.

“I thought he worked very well,” Pletcher said. “We were looking for a little easier work than he’s been getting and thought it was executed well.”

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A horse who previously needed company to breeze well, Palace Malice has worked by himself since last month’s Belmont Stakes.

“He seems to handle that really well,” Pletcher said. “He’s relaxed, and you can pick it up if you need him to. We’re able to get what we’re looking for out of these breezes and doing it on his own.”

Others expected for the Jim Dandy include Code West, Freedom Child, Looking Cool, Moreno, Mylute, Perfect Title, Vyjack, and Will Take Charge.

Palace Malice was one of several workers for Pletcher on Sunday. Among the other notables were Cross Traffic, the Metropolitan Handicap runner-up, who went five furlongs in 1:00.97 in company with Midnight Taboo. Cross Traffic was going pretty easily while getting the final quarter in 24.00 seconds.

“Physically, the horse is doing super,” Pletcher said. “He’s put on some weight. He looks really well.”

Kauai Katie and Overanalyze worked a half-mile in 50.01 seconds in company. Pletcher said both are less-than-enthusiastic work horses, and he felt the two would complement each other. Kauai Katie is pointing to Saturday’s Grade 1 Prioress, while Overanalyze will run in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 3.

In other works of note, the Grade 1 winner Centre Court worked four furlongs in 48.07 over the Oklahoma turf course, getting her final quarter in 23.09. Centre Court, fourth in the Grade 1 Just a Game over soft Belmont turf in her last start, is pointing to Saturday’s Grade 1 Diana.

Others under consideration for the Diana include Dream Peace, Laughing, Minakshi, Somali Lemonade, Starformer, and Stephanie’s Kitten.