08/23/2013 2:26PM

Saratoga: Palace rolls to Chowder's First victory; The Lumber Guy second in comeback

Barbara D. Livingston
Palace rallies to victory in the Chowder's First under Cornelio Velasquez.

Palace, with a little help from his entrymate, N. F.’s Destiny, played the spoiler when rallying to upset The Lumber Guy in Friday’s $100,000 Chowder’s First Stakes at Saratoga.

The Lumber Guy, who finished second in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, was making his first start since being reunited with trainer Mike Hushion earlier this year. The Lumber Guy finished off the board in two subsequent starts following the Breeders’ Cup when left on the West Coast with trainer Neil Drysdale.

Palace, a 4-year-old son of City Zip, benefited from a lively pace set by N. F.’s Destiny, who outsprinted The Lumber Guy to the lead after a 21.76-second opening quarter-mile in the 6 1/2-furlong Chowder’s First. The Lumber Guy gained a short advantage while joined by Night Maneuver approaching the stretch, but the quick pace took its tool, with Palace circling wide and rolling past the tiring leaders under jockey Cornelio Velasquez to register a convincing three-length decision.

The Lumber Guy held on to finish second, a length in front of Night Maneuver. Spa City Fever, Even Got Quiet, and N. F.’s Destiny completed the order of finish.

Palace, trained by Linda Rice, paid $27 to win while being timed in 1:15.70.