When Palace Malice goes to post for the $1.5 million Whitney on August 2 it will be all business for the hugely successful 4-year old colt. And horse racing fans everywhere thank goodness his business is on the track right now.
Anytime an accomplished Thoroughbred enjoys multiple trips to the trophy presentation it can be really good in many ways. Stardom not only brings recognition with the sports fans of the world, but also yields some nice cabbage for the owners. Often times, however, the walks to the winner’s circle are quickly followed by a bolt to the breeding shed. The bigger green stuff awaits and often lures people and their runners away from the track. The business of making money often overrides the business of racing Thoroughbreds. That enticement is certainly there for the Palace Malice team.
With six wins in his last nine starts, this son of Curlin has put himself front and center in the older horse division. Wins in the Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy last year have been followed by four consecutive wins in his 4-year old campaign. Under the guidance of trainer Todd Pletcher, Palace Malice has given owner Cot Campbell and his partners at Dogwood Stable plenty to be happy about over the past 12 months or so. Since bolting to an early lead and blistering through an opening half-mile of 45.33 in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Palace Malice has built off that experience and become one of the best runners in the world today.
“I think right now he would be a strong candidate for Horse of the Year,” says Campbell. “He’s very sharp right now and a little feisty. If you walk up to him you better have a peppermint in your hand.”
Remaining feisty and full of himself is important for Palace Malice to continue his success. Many owners would have retired a runner like him after his Triple Crown race win a year ago in the Belmont Stakes, but a willingness to compete by both horse and owner have given fans a spectacular look at this fantastic, four-legged athlete.
“In our case, we are racing people,” says Campbell. “We don’t want to be stupid, but I have told the many farms that have called about him we want to wait and see how he is doing in the fall. We do not want to leave money on the table, but we are racing people.”
The decision for a competitor like Campbell will not be easy. Knowing when to say when will be a very tough call for sure. With a horse that is still hungry and healthy, the folks at Dogwood Stable certainly have some thinking to do in the near future.
“It is going to be tough, that is for sure,” says Campbell. “When the time comes I will talk with each of the partners and tell them what I think our options are. I would like to think by that time he will have achieved a level of value that he would always have. If we can achieve the things we hope this year he would be worth so much even if we decided to run him next year and he didn’t do so well. So it’s a tough decision and when the time comes we will do what is best for all parties concerned including the horse.”
Coming off an impressive come-from-behind score in the Met Mile on Belmont day, a freshened Palace Malice will be stretching out to a mile and an eighth for Saratoga’s richest race for older horses. A tough field awaits the top-ranked runner in the NTRA national poll with the likes of Will Take Charge, Itsmyluckyday, Departing, and Last Gunfighter looking to knock him off. Ask Campbell and he will quickly tell you it should be business as usual for Palace Malice and for now that business is winning on the track.
“I think his ideal distance is a mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter,” says Campbell. “He has won from six and a half furlongs to a mile and a half so I think the Whitney is right in his wheel house.”

 Current racing superstar Palace Malice . will be running in the Whitney Handicap  on August 2.

Current racing superstar Palace Malice . will be running in the Whitney Handicap on August 2.