Belmont undercard: Palace Malice returns to take Metropolitan Handicap

June 7, 2014 

Elmont, N.Y. — Palace Malice, last year's Belmont Stakes winner, won the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Palace Malice, a 4-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher, drove through an opening on the rail to beat a determined Goldencents, last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner, by a length.

John Velazquez was aboard as Palace Malice continued his emergence as a leader in the older horse division.

"It's pretty extraordinary to have a horse win the Belmont and come back a year later to win the Met Mile," Pletcher said.

Palace Malice is 4-for-4 on the season and the latest victory was his sternest test so far. The race, the premier event on the undercard, attracted a deep and talented field of 12.

Palace Malice paid $4.70 to win. The time was 1:33.56.

Other races

Manhattan: Real Solution beat Kaigun by 11/4 lengths in the $1 million Manhattan on the turf. The winner of last year's Arlington Million on a disqualification, Real Solution improved to 5 for 13. Javier Castellano rode for trainer Chad Brown as Real Solution paid $13 to win. The time was 1:59.27 for 11/4 miles.

Sweet Reason pulled a 9-1 upset in the $750,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, beating Sweet Whiskey pay a half-length with Irad Ortiz Jr. riding for Leah Gyarmati.

She paid $20.80 to win. The time was 1:34.98 for a mile.

My Miss Sophia, the 4-5 favorite, finished seventh.

Just a Game Stakes: Coffee Clique edged Starthnaver by a nose in the $750,000 Just a Game Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

The 4-year-old is unbeaten in three races this year for trainer Brian Lynch. Javier Castellano guided her through the mile in 1:32.52.

Woody Stephens Stakes: Bayern rebounded from a ninth-place finish in the Preakness to romp by 71/2 lengths in the $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes for 3-year-olds.

He obviously appreciated the reduction in distance from the 13⁄16 miles in the Preakness to 7 furlongs for the Hall of Fame team of trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Gary Stevens. He paid $20.40 for his first stakes victory.

"You just have to draw a line through the Preakness. He lost all chance at the start," said Jim Barnes, Baffert's assistant.

Top Fortitude was a distant second with Social Inclusion getting third to replicate his finish in the Preakness.

Brooklyn Invitational: Norumbega got up in the final strides for a 10-1 upset in the $500,000 Brooklyn Invitational run at the same 1½ mile distance as the Belmont. The gray 4-year-old trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario edged Micromanage by a neck for his fourth victory in 13 starts

Norumbega paid $22.40 for the upset score. The time was 2:27.13.

Jaipur Invitational: Undrafted, owned by NFL star Wes Welker, roared through the lane to take the $300,000 Jaipur Invitational for grass sprinters. Undrafted beat Marchman by 11/2 lengths in 1:07.24 for the team of jockey Velazquez and trainer Wesley Ward. He paid $11.80 to win, the fourth victory in 14 starts for the 4-year-old gelding.

"He ran fantastic. He ran beautiful," said the trainer Wesley Ward, who has targeted a race in July in England for Undrafted's next start.

Easy Goer Stakes: Kid Cruz, once under consideration for the Belmont, found an easier and a shorter spot in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes for 3-year-olds. The colt trained by Linda Rice rallied from last for his fourth win in seven starts. He paid $8.90 to win with Ortiz aboard. The time was 1:41.12 for 11⁄16 miles.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service