Palace Malice, the unexpected early leader of the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago before fading in the stretch, rallied three wide of the far turn and pulled away from his rivals to win the Belmont Stakes over Preakness winner Oxbow and Kentucky Derby winner Orb. Long shot Incognito rounded out the superfecta.
The early pace was, as expected, strong with Frac Daddy and Freedom Child contesting the lead for the first half-mile in a swift 46.66 seconds, with Oxbow sitting in the garden spot as the field entered the backstretch. Oxbow took over the lead about midway down the backstretch while Freedom Child and Palace Malice remained within striking distance. As the field rolled towards the judge, Palace Malice assumed command of the race while his rivals spun their wheels in the final furlongs.
Derby winner Orb began to make a move as the field entered the far turn and looked like he would challenge the leaders in the stretch, but he came up empty in deep stretch and had to settle for third place.
The betting action on the Belmont Stakes remained fairly stable leading up to post time with Orb taking the majority of the wagers and going to post at odds of 2/1. After Orb, the betting was wide open; Revolutionary was the second choice at odds of 5/1, while Preakness winner Oxbow was relatively ignored at the post as he saw his odds drift up from 5/1 on the morning line to 10/1 at post time.
Saturday's Belmont card began with the track rated as "Muddy" due to heavy rain in the New York area on Friday. Despite the muddy surface, which can sometimes become tiring and biased against horses running on or near the lead early, speed horses fared quite well during the early races. The main track was upgraded to "Good" prior to the start of Race 6.
Palace Malice is a three-year-old colt by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of a Royal Anthem mare (Palace Rumor), trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
With the Triple Crown over for another year, this year's three-year-old colts head to the summer meets of Saratoga and Del Mar in the hopes of a shot at the Breeders' Cup this November at Santa Anita Park in California.
Below are the results, payouts, fractions and internal splits for the 2013 Belmont Stakes:
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|
|1 1/4 Mile:||2:03.12||26.65|