Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Former Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice found something more down the stretch to win Saturday’s $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile) at Belmont Park.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Palace Malice was sent off as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the 12-horse field. The 4-year-old colt broke from the inside post for the mile race with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez riding.
Palace Malice, owned by Dogwood Stable, broke well from the gate and was put in a stalking position as the field went up the backstretch. Broadway Empire was on the lead with Goldencents pressing the pace.
Goldencents, 2013 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, took the lead on the final turn. The 4-year-old had the lead at the top of stretch with Palace Malice gaining ground along the inside.
Palace Malice drove through the stretch to overtake Goldencents and register a length victory over last year’s Santa Anita Derby winner. The win guarantees Palace Malice a place in this year’s Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
Romansh finished third followed by Shakin It Up, Clearly Now, Broadway Empire, Scarly Charly, Declan’s Warrior, Vyjack, Normandy Invasion, Capo Bastone and Moreno. Central Banker was scratched.
The time for the Met Mile was 1:33.56 on a fast track.
Winning the Met Mile one year after taking the Belmont Stakes adds $750,000 to Palace Malice’s earnings. The colt has won seven of 16 career starts for $2,711,135.
Palace Malice remains undefeated in 2014 with four wins in as many starts. The colt began the year by winning the Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 8 followed by a solid victory at Fair Grounds in the New Orleans Handicap three weeks later. He then claimed the Westchester Handicap at a mile by almost 10 lengths at Belmont four weeks ago.
Palace Malice paid $4.70, $3.70 and $2.90. Goldencents returned $5.80 and $4.80, and Romansh paid $7.90 to show.