Dam: Palace Rumor
Damsire: Royal Anthem
Positives: Ran well to finish second in the Blue Grass in his last Derby prep race but looked like a certain winner in the middle of the stretch until Java's War ran him down in the shadow of the wire.
There is a good amount of stamina on the female side of Palace Malice's pedigree, with offspring of his damsire, Royal Anthem, sporting an average winning distance of a little over a mile. His sire, Curlin, was a two-time Horse of the Year and the winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup, both of which are fun at the Derby distance of a mile and a quarter.
He finished a well-beaten seventh in the Louisiana Derby but you can toss that race in the bin as he was completely blocked by other horses as he tried to make his move coming into the homestretch. And if you look at his record without the Louisiana Derby, he's finished in the top three in all five of his other races.
A lot of the attention on trainer Todd Pletcher's stable has focused on the undefeated Verrazano, but Palace Malice could be a sneaky good horse in this race especially when you factor in his versatile running style.
Trainer Todd Pletcher puts the blinkers on Palace Malice for the Derby which typically indicates an attempt to get the horse to focus more.
Negatives: Despite running some good races this spring and last fall, Palace Malice is still the winner of just a single race. He had a shot to win in both the Blue Grass and the Risen Star and just couldn't get it done.