Palace, a resolute winner of the June 6 True North Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, looks to build his winning streak for trainer Linda Rice July 5 in the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. III) at the New York oval.
Formerly a $20,000 claimer, the 5-year-old City Zip New York-bred came off the bench to secure the True North for owner Antonio Miuccio, his first in a grade II stakes. He had not raced since a fourth in the Feb. 17 General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park after bleeding, but came back from a 60-day vacation to eke out the victory by three-quarters of a length over 2-1 favorite Bakken.
Palace, 7-2 on the morning line in the Belmont Sprint Championship (known as the James Marvin Stakes previously), breaks from the outside in a field of nine older horses. Cornelio Velasquez takes over the mount as part of a 122-pound assignment. Palace was ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. in the True North, but that rider will pilot 124-pound highweight Dads Caps
Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Dads Caps comes off a troubled fifth in the True North after winning the April 5 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at 10-1 odds, his initial stakes score and first victory of the season. The 4-year-old Discreet Cat
colt departs post 5 at 10-1 on the morning line.
also exits the True North, where he was third in his return to stakes competition for David Jacobson and Southern Equine Stable. The 4-year-old son of Salute the Sarge
raced in graded stakes company as a 3-year-old when campaigned solely by Southern Equine Stable, and was third in the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course
last year. He drew post 7 under 120 pounds, including Corey Lanerie, and is 5-1 on the morning line.
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Declan's Warrior (KY), J. R. Velazquez, 116, N P Zito, 15/1
2. Central Banker (KY), C. S. Nakatani, 122, A M Stall, Jr., 5/2
3. Clearly Now (KY), J. Lezcano, 116, B A Lynch, 3/1
4. Moonlight Song (NY), J. L. Ortiz, 118, C Baker, 12/1
5. Dads Caps (KY), I. Ortiz, Jr., 124, R R Rodriguez, 10/1
6. Mezzano (KY), J. Castellano, 118, A E Goldberg, 15/1
7. Salutos Amigos (KY), C. J. Lanerie, 120, D Jacobson, 5/1
8. Big Screen (KY), J. Alvarado, 116, T Albertrani, 20/1
9. Palace (NY), C. H. Velasquez, 122, L Rice, 7/2