The former $20,000 claimer—who won the Aug. 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) last time out for his first grade I score—was piloted to victory at odds of 4-1 by regular rider Cornelio Velasquez for trainer Linda Rice.
"He's 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. Miuccio has allowed me to give him a break whenever he needs it, and it's obviously paid off."
Palace, a 5-year-old New York-bred son of City Zip , easily took over from pacesetter Zee Bros after that rival ripped through an opening quarter in :22.48 and drilled the half in :45.23. Darting inside after tracking third when Zee Bros came off the rail, Palace carried on under a steady right-handed whip to secure the victory by 3 1/2 lengths.
"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 position. I think my horse is the best sprinting horse now."
The Forego win provided an automatic starting berth for Palace in the Nov.1 Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) as part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" program.
Big Business managed second by a neck, followed by Vyjack and Capo Bastone. Sensational Slam, Weekend Hideaway, Zee Bros, 4-5 favorite Clearly Now, and Confrontation completed the order of finish. Falling Sky scratched.
Under equal weights of 124 pounds, Palace returned $10.60, $4.50, and $4. Big Business paid $15.20 and $9, while Vyjack brought $6.40.
Palace, out of the End Sweep mare Recievership, was bred by the Peter J. Callahan Revocable Trust. The Forego victory improved his record to 11-5-2 from 21 starts for earnings of $1,309,550. He owns two other graded stakes scores, the 2013 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) and the True North Stakes (gr. II) in June.
The bay horse was a $160,000 purchase by Doug Cauthen from the 2011 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s 2011 March selected sale of 2-year-olds in training when consigned by Crupi's New Castle Farm, agent.
He raced four times for WinStar Farm and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott before he was claimed by Rice in a maiden heat at Belmont Park in October 2012. Among his other victories are the 2013 Chowder's First Stakes over grade I winner The Lumber Guy , and the restricted Hudson Handicap at Belmont last October.
"He never got involved in the race," Lynch said. "It looked like he was starting to make a bit of a move, but that was it. Everything seemed like it was on 'play' and the pace was cooking up front. I thought as he started to make a move that we were coming into contention, but we got wide a little bit around the turn, and after that he stayed on that inside lead."