John Velazquez

John Velazquez

Crawford Ifland

Velazquez to Ride Palace Malice in BC Classic

Belmont winner to start once more this year and will race in 2014, Campbell says.

Dogwood Stable's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Palace Malice  will make his final start of 2013 in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2 and will have a new rider in Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, it was announced Oct. 2 by Dogwood president Cot Campbell. 

"Mike Smith predictably will reunite with Game on Dude, probable Classic favorite and his mount in five previous graded stakes victories," Campbell said. "We are sorry to lose him, as he has won the Belmont Stakes and the Jim Dandy (gr. II), and was recently a good second on Palace Malice in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I)...but we are overjoyed to get another Hall of Fame rider in Johnny V. He'll fit him like a glove."
Palace Malice has been a steady competitor in 2013, with nine starts resulting in wins in the Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy, seconds in the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and against older horses in the Gold Cup. The son of Curlin  has earned $1,481,135, thriving on a busy schedule for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Campbell said Palace Malice will be shipped to Lexington after the Breeders' Cup, get a routine physical with Dr. Robert Copelan, and then go into winter quarters at Dogwood's barn in Aiken, S.C.
"We have heard from many breeders concerning his stallion career, but we are racing people and fully expect to race him next year," Campbell said. 
Palace Malice was purchased for $200,000 at the 2012 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training by Campbell from the Niall Brennan Stables consignment. Bred in Kentucky by W.S. Farish out of the Royal Anthem mare Palace Rumor, he trained in Aiken for several months and then was sent to Pletcher, who has trained for Dogwood for 17 years.
"The city of Aiken—famous horse town that it is—has gone wild over the horse, and will be overjoyed to have him here at Brad Stauffer's facility," Campbell said. "We will set up guidelines so folks can see him train every other morning, and set a time when he will be grazed in the afternoon."