Antonino Miuccio’s Palace accelerated through an opening along the inside in
upper stretch and drew away authoritatively in Saturday’s $500,000
posting a 3 1/2-length decision beneath Cornelio Velasquez. Winner of the August
2 A.G. Vanderbilt for trainer Linda Rice, the five-year-old captured both
premiere Grade 1 events for older sprinters at
A New York-bred son of City Zip, Palace recorded his first graded victory
when taking the Fall Highweight last November at Aqueduct. The bay horse has
really come on this summer, returning from a four-month freshening with a
victory in the Grade 2 True North on June 6 prior to a runner-up in the Grade 3
Belmont Sprint on July 5.
He staked a strong claim as the top sprinter on the East Coast Saturday.
“(Palace) is a really talented horse, and when he is good I need to use him
because on several occasions I’ve needed to stop on him, turn him out, and give
him a break,” Rice said. “When a horse is doing as well as he is, I don’t know
how long I can keep him that good.”
“I think my horse is the best sprinting horse (in the country) now,”
Palace broke alertly from post No. 6 and settled just off the leaders in
third as Zee Bros sprinted forward to show the way during the early stages,
recording splits in :22 2/5 and :45 1/5 as Weekend Hideaway chased in second
down the backstretch. Palace advanced into contention rounding the far turn
while in the two path.
Zee Bros drifted out a little turning for home, leaving room along the rail,
and Velasquez guided his mount toward the opening. Palace rallied to the lead
with a little more than a furlong remaining, passing the six-furlong mark in
1:09 with a half-length advantage, and he quickly opened up on a pack of rivals.
The winner strolled home much the best, completing seven furlongs in 1:21 4/5
on the fast track, and Palace paid $10.60 for the victory as the 4-1 second
“I wanted to break good and stay in good position behind the speed,”
Velasquez said. “I had a lot of horse. When the opening came, I was in good
Big Business got up for second at 20-1, a neck better than the late-running
Vyjack in third. It was another length to the deep-closing Capo Bastone, who
edged Sensational Slam by a neck for fourth.
Weekend Hideaway wound up sixth and was followed under the wire by Zee Bros,
4-5 favorite Clearly Now and Confrontation. Falling Sky was scratched.
Palace increased his bankroll to $1,309,550 from a 21-11-5-2 ledger.
He earned his first stakes win over restricted foes at Saratoga last year,
taking the Chowder’s First, and followed that with another win over New York-breds
in the Hudson. After a third straight tally in the aforementioned Grade 3 Fall
Highweight, Palace concluded 2013 with a runner-up in the Gravesend.
Palace opened this year with a second in the Gold and Roses at Aqueduct and
earned a vacation after a fourth in the Grade 3 General George at Laurel in
“He’s such a special horse, and Miuccio has allowed me to stop on him, turn
him out, and give him a break whenever he needs it, and it’s obviously paid
off,” Rice said.
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on November 1 at Santa Anita is a
logical target for the surging sprinter.
Bred by the Peter J. Callahan Revocable Trust, Palace sold for $160,000 as an
OBS March selected
two-year-old in training. He is out of the winning End Sweep mare Receivership,
making him a half-brother to stakes-placed Retreiver. His second dam is Grade
2-placed Alarming Prospect, who produced Receivership’s Grade 2-scoring
half-sister, French Park.