Palace Malice continued his march to an undefeated 4-year-old campaign when he captured the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 7 for his fourth consecutive graded triumph. The son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin also won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap and New Orleans Handicap and the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes this year.
Last season Palace Malice made a name for himself by winning the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. His subsequent Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes score made him a likely candidate to take the coveted Grade 1 Travers Stakes but he was a narrowly beaten fourth in the Midsummer Derby. He then proved himself against older rivals with a second in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park. As the fourth choice in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Palace Malice was never a serious challenge and was sixth.
If not for a fortunate happenstance amid devastation, Palace Malice probably never would have been born. In 2005 his dam, Palace Rumor, was spared from a deadly tornado at her home base while she rested in a borrowed stall after racing that afternoon at Churchill Downs. After a productive racetrack career, Palace Rumor retired and in 2010 gave birth to her fourth foal, who is known today as Palace Malice.
Palace Malice was purchased as an unraced 2-year-old by Dogwood Stable of Cot Campbell and partners. Campbell viewed the colt as a prime candidate to give the operation its first Kentucky Derby victory. He finished off the board in the Run for the Roses but now is poised to add a Breeders’ Cup Classic statue to the Dogwood Stable trophy case.