Haskin's Belmont Recap: Malice in Wonderland

If this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Preakness Stakes taught us anything it is that Thoroughbred racing has its own unique way of transporting the past into the present, recycling great achievements and sometimes surpassing them.

In the Derby and Preakness, we saw how names like Phipps, Janney, and McGaughey, and Lukas and Stevens, whose major accomplishments were believed to be in the past, came together to weave a stunning tapestry of the Turf, as fresh and contemporary as if it had been crafted in their younger days.

Go back to May, 1990. The founder of racehorse syndicates, 62-year-old Cot Campbell, stands in his box at Pimlico and shouts at the top of his lungs, “Go on with him!...Go on with him!...Go on with him!” As his colt, Summer Squall, crosses the finish line, defeating Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled in the 115th Preakness Stakes, Campbell utters a few impious words and unleashes a flurry of left hooks into an invisible opponent.

“Wasn’t that great?” he asks no one in particular. “Oh, boy, I’m so glad for all of us. If this doesn’t make everyone happy, nothing will. I’ll never forget this moment. It’ll take about three months for it to sink in.”

Now go back to June, 2007. Perennial leading trainer Todd Pletcher, burdened with an 0-for-28 record in Triple Crown races, stands in his box at Belmont Park and shouts at the top of his lungs, “Come on, baby!...Come on, baby!” while unleashing a flurry of eight short jabs into that same invisible opponent. As his filly, Rags to Riches, crosses the finish line a neck in front of budding superstar Curlin in the 130th Belmont Stakes, Pletcher flings his fist in the air and kisses his wife Tracy, knocking her hat off.

Normally, those moments would remain frozen in time in some hallowed corner of one’s memory. But this is Thoroughbred racing, where rejuvenation is part of the natural order of things.

So, we move to June 8, 2013. Cot Campbell, now 85, and Todd Pletcher, with a long-awaited Kentucky Derby victory now added to his extensive resume, stand in their respective boxes at Belmont Park. Both simultaneously break into their theatrical repertoires as Palace Malice, trained by Pletcher and owned by Campbell’s Dogwood Stable, draws clear of his opponents, including Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness winner Oxbow, to win the 145th Belmont Stakes.

The sire of Palace Malice: Curlin, the horse that Pletcher defeated six years earlier with Rags to Riches.

For Pletcher, this one was especially gratifying, as it was Campbell who was one of the trainer’s earliest clients after going out on his own after a number of years as assistant to Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas. The horse who finished second to Palace Malice in the Belmont: Oxbow, trained by D. Wayne Lukas.

It should also be noted that Pletcher’s first major impact on the classics came in 2000 when he finished third in the Kentucky Derby. The horse who gave him his first classic placing: Impeachment, owned by Dogwood Stable.

Campbell and Pletcher have come full circle, at least for now. As the big summer and fall races approach and Palace Malice continues to mature, perhaps the circle will continue.     

Both owner and trainer have added their own chapter to the annals of the Triple Crown, but they will be the first to tell you it’s all about the horse, and if ever a horse deserved to bask in the limelight on the classic stage it is Palace Malice, who has persevered through bad trips, failed equipment changes, altered schedules, and four jockey changes since late February.

Palace Malice’s story actually begins well before he was even born and demonstrates the intricate network of events that dictate the course one takes in life, even to the extent of being born. In the case of Palace Malice, it was a simple, but fateful, decision by Burl McBride, the trainer of the colt’s dam, Palace Rumor, that led her son to the winner’s circle of the Belmont Stakes.  

On Nov. 5, 2005, McBride shipped his 2-year-old filly Palace Rumor from his barn at Ellis Park to Churchill Downs to compete in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the grass, sending her to the barn of his friend Hal Wiggins. McBride had seven other horses at Ellis Park because he was unable to get stalls at Churchill.

Palace Rumor , a daughter of Royal Anthem, had been purchased as a weanling at the Keeneland November mixed sale for $8,000, then was pinhooked the following year to the Keeneland September yearling sale, where she sold as Hip 4602 for a meager $5,000 to McBride, representing Corbet Bryant and Tim Gavin.

Making the fifth start of her career in the Churchill allowance race, Palace Rumor, who had broken her maiden by 5 1/2 lengths at Kentucky Downs, rallied from 11th to finish fifth. McBride was about to van her back to Ellis Park after the race, but had second thoughts and decided to keep her at Churchill overnight.

“I ran her that day and she had a real tiring race, so I said, ‘You know what, I’m just gonna let her rest and spend the night at Churchill and I’ll take her back in the morning,’” McBride said. “I had borrowed a stall from Hal Wiggins to run her out of and I just kept her there that night.”

At around 2 a.m., McBride received a phone call and was told his barn was gone. A tornado had ripped through the backstretch at Ellis Park, destroying six barns. Most of the trainers had shipped out, either to Churchill or other tracks, but McBride was one of the few who still had horses there.

Of McBride’s seven horses, three were dead and four were so badly injured, none of them ever raced again. For a trainer with a small stable, it was a devastating blow. In a heartbeat, McBride was wiped out, except for his one 2-year-old filly who had the good fortune of having raced at Churchill Downs that afternoon and the even better fortune of remaining in Louisville overnight.

“That tornado took half the grandstand, too,” McBride said. “Just like that, I only had one horse left. I was ready to quit, but Hal made me come back. If I had hauled her home that night, she’d probably be dead with the rest of them.”

In 2008, Palace Rumor, who went on to win four more races, including the Audubon Oaks, for McBride, was put in the Keeneland January mixed sale, where she was purchased by William S. Farish for $140,000.

The story doesn’t end there. It was McBride, a former jockey, who took a fellow New Mexican named Mike Smith under his wing.

“I put Mike Smith on horses before he started winning races,” McBride said. “He’s from Roswell, N.M. and I’m from Alamagordo. I quit riding in 1980 and that’s when Mike came around. My agent brought him out when he was bug boy. He rode some nice winners for me. I was there when he won the Derby with Giacomo and I was there when he won the Breeders’ Cup with Royal Delta. He’s a good friend of mine. I always called him an illegal alien because he was born in Roswell.”

So, of course, who was given the mount on Palace Malice in the Kentucky Derby and rode him to victory at Belmont?

Mike Smith getting the mount on Palace Malice was just one of many coincidences surrounding this colt.

On Sept. 18, 2011, Palace Malice arrived at Niall Brennan’s farm, having just been purchased at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $25,000. Also arriving from the sale at the same time was a War Pass colt, purchased for $80,000, later to be pinhooked and named Revolutionary. Already at Brennan’s farm, arriving on July 30, was a Malibu Moon colt, owned and bred by Stuart Janney III and the Phipps family, later to be named Orb.

Those three colts would go on to win the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, and finish third in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont and fifth in the Belmont.

“Three talented colts in the same group, and we’re just lucky enough to be along for the ride,” Brennan said. “Palace Malice was May 2 foal, so it was surprising to see him showing his talent so early as a 2-year-old, but Tristan (assistant Barry) told me when I was up at Saratoga he was doing super and was one of their better 2-year-olds. He always did things effortlessly and showed off that talent right away.”

Palace Malice was consigned to the Keeneland April 2-year-old sale and caught the eye of Cot Campbell, who purchased him for $200,000. After a brief stay with Ron Stevens at Aiken for his early training, he was sent to Pletcher.

“He was a high-class horse from the day he got here,” Stevens recalled. “He was very mature, classy, and professional for his age, and he took to everything right away. He was push-button, and it didn’t take a genius to train him.”

Palace Malice, who was bred by Farish, was so precocious, despite being a late foal, he debuted on July 5 going five furlongs and was beaten a half-length by a speedy colt named Carried Interest, who was yet another 2-year-old at Brennan’s farm.

Around this time, Campbell announced he was retiring, or more like “semi-retiring,” from syndicating horses and began cutting back on his stable, from about 65 horses to between 30 and 35. Campbell had left a legacy that changed the entire infrastructure of racing, bringing in thousands of new owners through the numerous syndicates that have followed the path Dogwood Stable started.

Campbell quickly realized that retirement was not an option. A young talented horse like Palace Malice will bring you back to your senses in a hurry. Campbell said he was merely cutting back on his operation.

“I must have been having a bad week,” Campbell said with that familiar grin and twinkle in his eye. There are few things more distinctive in racing than Campbell’s voice stringing together a symphony of words as comforting as a southern breeze.

“I don’t think (winning the Belmont) is going to accelerate my retirement, I’ll put it that way,” Campbell continued. “Syndicating horses has always made sense to me, but in the early days the establishment looked down on it a little bit. They thought it was a break from tradition, which it certainly was. And racing was not one to embrace a break from tradition. All I know is that I’m enjoying life. I’m a lucky guy. I’ve had a wonderful, exciting, and colorful life, and I love what I do.”

Accompanying Campbell every step of his incredible journey is his wife Anne, whose ebullience is contagious. Regarding her husband’s so-called retirement, Anne said, “You can retire from a job, but can you retire from a way of life?”

The more Palace Malice progressed the farther removed the word retirement became. An impressive maiden victory at Saratoga followed, but sore shins kept him out the remainder of the year.

He returned 5 1/2 months later to finish a solid second to the quick-footed Majestic Hussar in a seven-furlong allowance race in the slop at Gulfstream. That began a series of races in which the colt was asked to do things few 3-year-olds are asked, and he never as much as flinched.

In the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, he was the only horse in the 12-horse field that had never been two turns and he was coming off one sprint in 6 1/2 months. With Rosie Napravnik aboard for the first time, Palace Malice, ran his heart out, only to finish third, beaten a half-length. The Louisiana Derby a month later was a disaster. With Edgar Prado now his rider, he was moving strongly and looked like a potential winner, only to get trapped behind horses the entire stretch run and was never allowed to run at any point.

With not nearly enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field, the only alternative was to run him back in two weeks in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes over Keeneland’s quirky Polytrack surface. This time he had Garrett Gomez aboard and had to do all the dirty work chasing the brilliant Rydilluc. He managed to take command, but apparently became distracted by the tractor tire marks on the track and lost focus, switching back to his left lead. He still battled to the wire, but was nipped in the final stride by the late-closing Java’s War. He had lost another race, but now had enough points to get in the Derby.

But he once again needed a new rider, and Pletcher obtained the services of Mike Smith, who flew in to work the colt. Following the work, in which he wore blinkers for the first time, Smith went into the media center to check the training board and could barely contain his enthusiasm.

“He worked great, but what I really loved was his gallop-out,” Smith said. “Coming back the entire way until I got off him he wanted to do more. Even when the pony came I was still trying to slow him down. He’s a strong sonofagun; there’s a lot to him. When I turned him around after the gallop-out he took off again and I had to go ‘Whoa.’ I’ll tell you one thing, the farther the better.”

Back at the barn, Campbell could start smelling the roses, having previously run second, third, and fourth in the Derby.

“If there are Derby gods, they better get on with it,” he said. “There are more Derbys in my past than there are in my future.”

Said Anne, “What’s exciting is that we still don’t have any idea how good this horse is.”

Unfortunately, the Derby turned into another disaster, as the blinkers experiment backfired badly. Pletcher’s instructions to Smith were to get him out of there and get a good position, but according to Smith, when he did get him out of there, “he was gone.” The colt proceeded to set suicidal fractions that killed off not only him, but every horse anywhere near him.”

With the Preakness coming too soon, only the Belmont Stakes was left for Palace Malice to get a little luck and show off his talent on the big stage.

“If he has an absence of bad luck we’ll be alright,” Campbell said. “I’m not asking or any breaks. I just don’t want any breaks against him.”

The first positive sign was a sensational work and gallop-out two weeks before the race, after which Pletcher said, “I don’t know that I’ve ever had a horse work any better.”

Also working that day were four potential Belmont starters owned by Mike Repole. When asked his thought on the works, Repole said. “My thoughts are I wish I owned Palace Malice.”

On Belmont morning, the skies cleared around 6 o’clock and the first patches of blue appeared following the previous day’s tropical storm. Pletcher put the final touches on his five-horse arsenal that consisted of Palace Malice, Revolutionary, and the Repole trio of Overanalyze, Unlimited Budget, and Midnight Taboo. With the main track open to Belmont Stakes horses from 6 to 6:30, Shug McGaughey brought Orb out for a gallop around the dogs on the sloppy sealed track.

“I’ll be glad when the day’s over with,” he said. “It’s a bit distracting training your other horses. When we were in Louisville and Baltimore, I tried to keep myself focused on my other horses, but you get so wrapped up in the one horse.”

The conclusion of the Triple Crown also meant that Orb’s co-owner Stuart Janney III could finally get a good night’s sleep. “I’ve probably slept well four nights since before the Derby,” he said. “I’ll wake up at four in the morning and start thinking too much. There’s so much pressure and so many people depending on you.”

Over at Barn 5, Wayne Lukas, who had Oxbow and Will Take Charge, sat on a chair in the shedrow and was exuding confidence in both his horses, especially the indefatigable Oxbow, who hadn’t had more than five weeks between races since last October.

“This horse always shows up and Gary (jockey Stevens) is over the moon,” Lukas said. “They’ll have him to deal with.”

Orb was made the 2-1 favorite, followed by Revolutionary at 5-1 and Peter Pan (gr. II) winner Freedom Child 8-1. Everyone else was double-digit odds, with Oxbow a generous 10-1, along with Overanalyze, and Palace Malice 13-1.

Frac Daddy’s trainer Kenny McPeek assured his colt would gun to the front from the rail and if anyone wanted to take him on he’ll welcome the challenge. Frac Daddy was indeed hustled out of there, followed closely by Freedom Child and Oxbow. Mike Smith broke alertly on Palace Malice, but this time the colt, without the blinkers, relaxed much better and tucked in several paths to avoid going wide into the first turn.

Around the turn and into the backstretch, it was obvious the pace was a demanding one, as Orb and Golden Soul dropped to the back of the pack. The opening fractions of :23.11 and :46.66 were extremely fast going a mile and a half, with Frac Daddy, Freedom Child, and Oxbow getting separation from Palace Malice, who was also going fast, but had settled into a good rhythm, with his ears pricked.

“I was keeping a close eye on Gary (Stevens) to make sure he didn’t try to steal it again at some point,” Smith said. “Gary has been known to do stuff like that.”

When the three-quarter fraction of 1:10.95 went up, and with still half the race to go, it didn’t bode well for anyone near the pace. Frac Daddy and then Freedom Child began backing up, leaving Oxbow and Palace Malice to battle it out well clear of the others. Revolutionary had begun his move and appeared to be a strong horse as he charged up into fourth, with Orb launching his bid around horses, losing ground around the far turn.

Palace Malice was the stronger of the two horses and took a half-length lead into the stretch, with Oxbow three lengths clear of Revolutionary and Orb.

“It was like movie scene,” Smith said. “Gary looked over to me and I could see his face clear as day. He says, ‘Go on, little brother, you’re moving better than me.’”

Palace Malice was moving better than anyone, opening a two-length lead at the eighth pole and then extending it to 3 1/4 lengths at the wire. Oxbow, in another gutsy performance, finished a clear-cut second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Orb, who finished a length ahead of the regally bred Incognito.

“I’m so proud of this colt,” Stevens said. “I thought I was dead midway down the backside. They were suicidal fractions and he never got any break. To finish second, I’m really surprised. He galloped out after the race like you wouldn’t believe.”

Revolutionary was unable to sustain his run, settling for fifth. The early fractions did take their toll, as evidenced by the final time of 2:30.70.

Pletcher said this was an emotional win because of Campbell. “He supported me from the very beginning and to win a big race for him is really gratifying.”

McGaughey said it was a fun ride and he has no problems with the way the Triple Crown played out. He won the race he wanted, but his only regret was not having Orb run better in the Preakness and Belmont.

On the winner’s side, there was nothing but joy and exultation. “I cannot believe this,” said Anne Campbell, who was overcome with emotion. “I’m just so happy for Cot. We knew the horse was capable of doing this. Cot never lost faith in him. Most of the time you’re disappointed, and for this to happen now at this stage of his career it makes it all the more special. And he has not retired. This will give him a whole new life.”

The one disappointment was not having their daughter Lila there. “Her flight was canceled,” Anne said. “She was on the phone weeping and crying.”

Lila watched the race from her home in Atlanta and admits to having mixed feelings.

“It was an emotional roller coaster, and I was sick with regret not being there,” Lila said. “I was standing in front of the TV screaming my head off, knowing this likely was my dad’s last shot at the gold ring. I adore him and am thankful for the life he’s given me. I’m so proud I could bust. I’m about to start crying again just thinking about it.”

Paul Oreffice has been a partner in Dogwood Stable for 25 years and invests in every horse. He makes it a point to mention he is 63 days younger than Campbell and refers to him as “the old man.” Oreffice and his wife, Jo Ann, were among the last to leave the Directors Room. They had hired a car and driver for the day and were about to leave for their trip home to Saratoga. But their mode of transportation didn’t matter, because as Jo Ann stated, “We’re going to float all the way home.”

No one, however, was more excited and proud watching Palace Malice come down the stretch than Burl McBride.

“Oh, my God, I had tears in my eyes when that horse crossed the wire.” he said. “I’ve been braggin’ on that mare for years and I’ve been braggin’ on this colt. Well I don’t have to brag on him anymore, because the whole world knows who he is. I can finally shut up. From now on, people can just look at my face and know what I’m thinking and feeling.”

It was only fitting that McBride watched the Belmont at Ellis Park, where this amazing story began so tragically, only to end in triumph nearly eight years later.


Leave a Comment:

Steel Dragon

In light the quick early fractions and the crawl home it's amazing that none of the closers threatened. I think Su Mac Lad would've handled this bunch on Saturday.

10 Jun 2013 6:25 PM

Steve with all the tornados in the news lately, its good to know that sometimes good things can come from that rainbow that is left behind after the those terrible storms. Good for Palace Malace and his connections. Thanks Steve for a great story.

10 Jun 2013 6:27 PM

Steve. I take hat off to you!!!! And not only because PM was your risky choice for this Belmont Stakes edition. You believed in this colt since the very beginning. Palace Malice faced a good group and won in a convincing way, regardless the time.  

10 Jun 2013 6:27 PM

Stranger than fiction! Another fine article, Steve. I especially love the line, "But this is Thoroughbred racing, where rejuvenation is part of the natural order of things." That's why we love this game--the hope it sparks in us. I'm going to stop writing now so I can type that quote up and put it on my mirror.

10 Jun 2013 6:29 PM
Steve Haskin

I would like to thank all of you for your comments regarding my selection of Palace Malice. I appreciate it. What is it they say about a broken clock? :)

10 Jun 2013 6:44 PM

Is there a Pulitzer Prize for Sports Writing ??!! ...if so you should have two or three !! Great story!

10 Jun 2013 6:55 PM
Cathy in Washington

Steve, thank you for the wonderful article of Palace Malice and all his connections. I have watched this colt from the beginnings on Maiden Watch and had faith he would put it all together.

10 Jun 2013 7:08 PM

great,heartwarming story, Steve. you are the best.

10 Jun 2013 7:21 PM
Old Old Cat

What they say is even a blind squirrel can dig up a broken clock, once a year.

I never had your horse, but my buddy had it with mine (oxbow & orb) and cashed big.  I thought oxbow was gusty to hang on after having gone too fast too early.

many years ago, I used to plot the horses speed in MPH at each call.  does anyone do that today?

10 Jun 2013 7:48 PM

What a wonderful melding of several threads of racing stories, Steve.  Day=um, man, you are like a fine glass of liquor--just getting better with age!

And congrats on picking PM....I was hoping for Oxbow, but wanted Mike, one of my favorite jockeys, to be in the money, too....and he certainly did that.

10 Jun 2013 8:13 PM

Gotta be impressed when you pick a colt eligible for a NW1X to win a classic and he does it!

That said, Power Broker may have been the most impressive 3yo to run on the Belmont card.  Be interesting to see how he develops going forward, as the division is wide open!

10 Jun 2013 8:21 PM

Tip of the hat to the author for another great year of Triple Crown coverage!

I first learned that speed kills in the Belmont Stakes in 1987, when Bet Twice gave Alysheba the slip going into the far turn and crushed the field.

Looking forward to reading the plethora of comments by the people that bet Orb down to 2-1, blaming Rosario again for Orb not winning.  You picked the wrong horse- get over it!  

10 Jun 2013 8:25 PM
The Deacon

As always Steve excellent written blog.

So the old becomes new once again!!!

First Phipps, Janney and Kentuckian Shug McGaughey snare the Derby.

Then Calumet and Lucas win the Preakness and now Dodgwood Stable Cot Campbell win the Belmont Stakes.

In addition, this surely helps the Curlin stud connection moving forward.

Congrats to the 3 connections.

Kind of puts a warm feeling in one's tummy......

Other then that I am confident any of these 3 winners great horses. Slow times have prevailed all year. The track on Saturday was probably only slow to good at best.

I truly that if really want race horses like we used to have then breeding has to be addressed as does the drug issues.

Still nice to see the good guys prevail. Thanks Steve for your continued ability to capture a moment and put it in writing.......

10 Jun 2013 8:29 PM
Scott's Rail

(Scott's cause) First of all, Thanx Steve for all the first hand reports and insight you gave all us humble want-a-be's during this triple crown endeavor. Somehow, I felt I was there. I have learned a lot from you and myself.  Go with what you feel, not what the last minute experts think.  Orb, was the last "big thing" I kept hearing on Sat's telecast.  I switched up my tri's to Orb and my Tri's didn't pan out.  Howevever, my first exacta bet did...Thank you very much, and thank you very much Steve.  I can't wait till next yeat TC.  Remember, it ain't braggin', if you put money on it.....First

10 Jun 2013 8:34 PM

I absolutely LOVE your writing. I look SO forward to your after race reviews. I feel like I am at your elbow looking forward to your next written words. I am not lucky enough to be involved in the TB industry, but have the joy of owning three OTTB's. Would love to see you write some books and include your wonderful pics.  Thank you for taking me along with you to the track and barns, in your written words!!!!!!

10 Jun 2013 8:41 PM
kelso fan

Steve, I've been with you all the way with Palace Malice.  He was my future Derby bet and I never lost faith in him.  I have a special spot in my heart for Cot Campbell and Dogwood and always thought this colt had the credentials to get a big one (or two or three or more!)

10 Jun 2013 8:45 PM

Steve; you've done it again and better than ever.  You've brought us 3 great back-stories and race recaps for each of the 3-yr old classic races.

After Orb's Derby, many of us were hoping for the elusive "Crown", but while that wasn't to be, what we got was the next best thing. Wins by three different horses with compelling stories, told as only you can.

The 3-yr old picture is wide open.  I'm looking forward to the big summer races to see if one of these race winners separates himself from the group, or if another colt rises to the top.

And, I'm already looking forward to next year, hoping for that "super horse" to do the near impossible.

10 Jun 2013 9:30 PM

Steve, I have been reading your articles since you wrote about Curlin in 2007. I have gotten so where I have to tune in at least once a week to read because you always have something interesting to say. Being a huge fan of Curlin, Istarted on the Palice Malice bandwagon last summer. You were one of the few writers who had similar opinons on him and made me feel like I wasn't crazy for believing. It was so exciting to see him win the Belmont I found myself screaming at the tv as they came down the stretch which I have never done before. Anyway, great story.

10 Jun 2013 9:50 PM

The Sun sets on Belmont Park as another Triple Crown Season plays out it's inevitable climax ----we get the reports live from the track and for many it's over for another long year.You can get your Travers and Breeder's Cups but the "Quest for the Crown" is the ultimate.

   For some,those lucky few, its not over until we get the final summation and blessing at just before dinner on Monday after the Belmont when we get "Haskin's Belmont Recap"

   ------- The Anointing of the New Champions and the Ceremonial Closing of our latest adventure together.I have been lucky and blessed in sharing this"Magical Mystery Tour" with Mr Haskin and his Merry Haskins in our search for over 40 years.

This is usually a very sad and empty time for me but I am glad to have the continual presence of Mr Haskin and you wonderful readers. Thank you all so much and thanks Mr Haskin for your gift of the Belmont winner and the "shot".

Hundreds of the best photo journalists got Lucas and Stevens after winning the Preakness but there was only one "shot".The essence of the moment captured only by the very best (or blessed).

As is my tradition at this time I shall now sit back with Mr Haskins fine book "Tales from the Triple Crown"with a nice glass of Brandy.

Please feel free to join me-----Mr Haskin books can be found on the upper right side of this page,under "Recommended"(Tales from the Triple Crown)

P.S. I learned more form this one book that 40 years of handicapping.

10 Jun 2013 10:04 PM

Great article Steve, I'm happy that all our faith finally paid off in PM. I got hooked on horse racing watching Curlin win the 07 Preakness and have kept track of all of his offspring. It was obvious that PM was his best so far, and even though I repeatedly lost money betting on him this year, my belief in the horse and his dad as a sire resulted in the biggest payout of my handicapping career. Everyone that criticizes the final time has to acknowledge that there was only one other horse in history to run that fast early in the Belmont and lived to celebrate it.

10 Jun 2013 10:42 PM


You and I and Millie Ball from HrTV are the only one's that had Palace Malice, I had the Exacta,Tri and 10 cent Super as well and if Incognito got 3rd, I would have won I ton more...I'm not complaining

10 Jun 2013 11:45 PM

What a superb article Steve and superb eye as well in picking Palace Malice.  Congratulations to Palace Malice and his connections and to Todd Pletcher and Mike Smith who looked so happy.  What a great time I had at the Belmont.  I was hoping for Orb to redeem himself here but at least he got 3rd and little Oxbow 2nd.  Oxbow is adorable, and he does have that roan sheen to his coat seeing it firsthand now.  I love his grit and determination.  I thought it ironic how the two Awesome Again colts, and "cousins," Paynter and Oxbow both placed in this year's and last year's Belmont at 2nd.  It's rather fitting in a way for a son of Curlin to win, no chick is beating this son, nosireeee!!!  Oxbow and Orb got their saddles taken off right in front of me after the race.  They looked tired.  Palace Malice looked so much bigger in size than them.  They all looked beautiful, the weather was beautiful and it was a most perfect day.  So, maybe Palace Malice is maturing from the Derby, he has overcome a lot of diversity.  But here we are again with 3 different winners of each of the 3 triple crown races.  Does this mean that Orb is not the superstar we all thought he was in the Derby?  It's still hard to figure the crop out but I give little Oxbow the best of the bunch right now.  Makes you wonder though if Palace was able to rate a little in the Derby and hold back like he did Saturday then would the Derby outcome have been different?

10 Jun 2013 11:59 PM

Such an intriguing back story.  You can't make this stuff up!  Have to be happy for all those connected with Palice Malice, and especially Cot Campbell and Burl McBride.  I had Palice Malice in my superfecta, along with Orb and Incognito, but had Revolutionary instead of Oxbow.  C'est la vie!  Regardless, was glad to see him win. The week before the Derby we met one of his syndicate owners at Churchill Downs workouts.  Turns out he was from my rather small hometown, which was amazing.  It was great to know he had the thrill of seeing "his" horse win.

The entire Triple Crown this year was satisfying in a different way than expected.  Three different (and, to me, worthy) winners, and three different sets of connections who are all intertwined in the history of this great sport.  Thanks for the insight and details you always provide on the depth and breadth of the racing experience.  The experience is shared in some ways, but very personal.  And it runs the gamut of emotions for everyone involved, as evidenced again this season.  Bravo to Orb, Oxbow, and Palice Malice, and all other horses who gave -- and give -- their best.

11 Jun 2013 12:47 AM
Julie June Stewart

An outstanding story Steve - lots of great detail and a fun read.  Thanks for capturing racing history for all of us....

11 Jun 2013 1:37 AM

Here's a thought for summer. Oxbow seems to be getting better. What may he evolve into if he learns to accept being taken back?

11 Jun 2013 7:41 AM
Mister Frisky

When theses races are being won with pedestrian final times,I guess a horse with only a maiden win can win a classic.PM won on the square,Orb is grinder that isn't very fast and has no turn of foot.Oxbow on guts alone is the star of yet another weak crop.When the foal crop is half of what it was 25 years ago,this is what you get.Thanks for the TC coverage Steve,now time to start looking towards November.

11 Jun 2013 8:33 AM
Bloodline Bob

Great story Steve, these are the stories I've been enjoying since I started subscribing in 1998. I'm proud to say that I bet on Palice Malice + I also hit the $242 Brooklyn-Belmont double. I follow W.S. Farish's stallions very closely and I knew that Curlin was going to have a Gr. 1 runner this year and Palice Malice was the likely fit for Curlin's 2nd crop. Again Steve, thank you for the inside scoop on Palice Malice.

11 Jun 2013 9:09 AM

On the 40th anniversary of the mighty Secretariat's emphatic sweep of horse racing's Triple Crown we did not see one horse duplicate his feat, but we were treated to another triple of sorts; three different winners with three different connections that can trace their involvement in racing back many, many years. These people are true stayers; people who are in racing for the love of horses and the love of sport. There were no tantrums here, no suspicions of cheating, nothing like that. I thoroughly enjoyed watching each horse and his connections bask in the glory of winning their race. Mr. Haskin, I was also one of the ones waiting to read your Belmont wrap up and it was well worth the wait. You always bring such interesting information to the table. I always learn something new when reading anything you write.

As to the horses, I am thankful that they are all safe and sound and hope to see them racing later on in the year. My personal favorite is Oxbow. That gutty little horse has no quit in him and even though he doesn't always win, he always tries so very hard to do so.

Incognito ran well in the Belmont and he was the only horse racing without the benefit of Lasix. This is a positive step forward. I heard where this horse has never bled and I hope he can continue to race medication-free throughout his career.

11 Jun 2013 10:45 AM

Don't overlook Incognito in 4th. He'll be a graded stakes winner this year!

11 Jun 2013 10:53 AM

As soon as the Belmont was over and Palace won I remembered what Todd had said about his last work, and had questioned him putting blinkers on Palace for the Derby and Mike sending him and then easing him up as if it was just a good work Having the Belmont in mind all the time. Of course that's old school but could be Todd and Mike did just that. Regardless great job Todd.

11 Jun 2013 11:15 AM

No Triple Crown once again, but this year's theme was about "Old School"--winning owners, trainers and even jockeys.  All had intriguing back stories!  Thank you, as always, Mr. Haskin for your wonderful blogs about this year's Triple Crown.  It is a shame that the producers of the NBC coverage of the event failed to provide the same colorful stories to entertain an audience.  (They even "missed the boat" doing a great piece on Secretariat's 40 Anniversary of his Triple Crown.)  Perhaps they should consider you to write for them!

11 Jun 2013 11:25 AM
Mookie's Hero

Hi Steve

Wonderful story but as happy as I am for the connections I am very concerned for the forgotten horse- the dam Palace Rumour. Where is she? I think Lane's End sold her ( shame on them). She deserved a forever home as a valued member of a loving family. All those rich people ( Stonestree, Lane's End, Dogwood etc) should buy her and offer her a forever home. This is so unfair. Did she have another foal? Did Mr McBride buy it if another one exits? At $25,000 Palace Malice was a bargain right up there with Blind Luck,I'll Have Another etc.

Please tell me Palace Rumour is happy and healthy and in good hands.

Mookie's Hero

11 Jun 2013 4:36 PM
Bill Two

First, congratulations on your Belmont pick.  That wasn't a gimme. Congratulations are in order obviously for the first two finishers - particularly the winner - since they were really the only two horses that did any running during the race.  To press an early pace that quick and still have enough left to win and run second is a serious accomplishment. As for the rest of them.....

11 Jun 2013 4:40 PM
Golden Gate

Yea! for Palice Malice, Mike Smith and Dogwood Stable and Burl McBride.

By the way for those that don't know Burl and want to meet him he is racing at Ellis this year. He has trained several for me.

One day I said to him "One thing I like is all your horses look happy" his reply to me was "If the horses aren't happy I find them another job to do where they are happy"

Which he has done if they truly don't like racing by finding them jumping homes, trail riding, forever families, etc and has never sent one to slaughter .

Thank you Steve for sharing the stories on Palice Malice and the others. Keep up the good work!

11 Jun 2013 6:19 PM

Steve, what do you think of Palace Malice's stretch run in the Belmont?  It seemed to me that Palace Malice still became a little distracted after making the lead when I watch the replay.  His ears were up and his head even seemed cocked to the inside like something (the photographers on the infield?) had caught his attention.

People will want to focus on the Belmont's slow final fraction but I have a sneaky suspicion we still don't know how good Palace Malice is because when he relaxes early I think he can chase down any front runner, including even an older horse like Game On Dude.   Maybe not now in June, but certainly in November!

11 Jun 2013 6:32 PM
Old Old Cat

Steve, all these people are saying that you should "write" for NBC.  whether they mean columns appearing at the races, or between the races, (like a sports center show or whichever ones I no longer watch), or as a technical advisor for their presentation being more relevent, and less like saturday morning kids shows,,, I agree.  

The beloved Jim McKay once scripted the show, and for a man of your intelligence and knowledge, running the show would be great.  Great for the viewers, not being fed pablum, great for the true racing fans actually seeing races, and great for the sport of THOROUGHBRED HORSE RACING.  

But, that is but a dream.

11 Jun 2013 7:16 PM

Orb was overwhelming in the Derby, Oxbow steals the show in the Preakness, and Palace Malice runs away from them in the Belmont!  So who's best?  Time will tell, but if the old Triple Crown Challenge were still in place, Oxbow would have won the $1,000,000 bonus on points...  just sayin'.  Maybe no Triple Crown winner, but a truly memorable classic season.

11 Jun 2013 7:55 PM

No one better than Mr. Haskin...no one!!

11 Jun 2013 8:53 PM
Paula Higgins

Another great story after a wonderful race Steve. I was very happy for Mike, Palice Malice and his connections. I thought Oxbow and Orb were very impressive as well. A good day.

11 Jun 2013 9:52 PM

Hi Steve,

Great article, as usual! Congratulations on picking the winner of each jewel of the Triple Crown!  I don't know if most readers realized this but you did pick the winner in each race, and I give you a standing ovation, Steve.  Just like last year, when you were one of only two journalists out there to pick I'll Have Another from the get-go, you showed vision again this year and picked Orb for the Kentucky Derby, Oxbow for the Preakness Stakes, and Palace Malice for the Belmont Stakes. I'm going to say the same thing to you this year as I did last year when you nailed all three races:  I hope you placed money on the winners and had the exotics (especially last year's Kentucky Derby exotics, and this year's Preakness & Belmont Stakes exotics, which all paid excellently well.)  Congratulations once again on having great vision in your race predictions!

I am so thrilled Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes!  Just like Oxbow, Palace Malice had so much bad luck on the Derby trail, and I was confident both of them would soon be redeemed because both were definitely due to have Lady Luck smile down on them and give them good fortune.  Todd Pletcher should thank his lucky stars, because Palace Malice just dug his trainer straight out of the doghouse with Palace Malice's supporters!  Well, at least PM got Mr. Pletcher out of the doghouse with me, because he was there BIG TIME for putting blinkers on Palace Malice in the Derby and killing any chance Palace Malice had of even having a chance at winning the Derby.  Seeing Palace Malice get the good luck he deserved after trying so hard every race only to heartbreakingly miss the chance to win the race was very gratifying to see.

What an incredibly wonderful story about Mr. McBride and the twists & turns of his life in the last eight years.  It's as if a guardian angel saved the life of the modestly purchased but much loved by her owner Palace Rumor.  His love for his mare is almost palpable.  His complete pride & love for Palace Rumor and her son, Palace Malice, brought tears to my eyes.  I'm so happy for him that all the tragedy he endured eight years ago turned into triumph and happiness in 2013.  Another fabulous story of this history-filled Triple Crown.  Thank you for bringing it to us, Steve.  I love reading about the intricate, inspirational history of this sport.

This Triple Crown was all about historic names being reborn again (Janneys/Phipps, Calumet Farm, Cot Campbell, D. Wayne Lukas back in the Preakness Stakes Winner's Circle with his gutsy, all-heart colt, Oxbow; Shug McGaughey finally getting his Derby victory with the talented Orb).  They were also about redemption for hard-luck horses who needed Lady Luck to finally give them a break (Oxbow and Palace Malice); even about redemption for Curlin (with his son winning the same Belmont Stakes he so nobly tried to win when he was defeated by the great Rags to Riches).  And amazing redemption for two Hall of Fame jockeys (Gary Stevens & Mike Smith - one coming back in stunning fashion from retirement, the other winning Classic race victories & accolades after being badly battered in all three legs of last year's Triple Crown races), showing the young guns of their profession & the entire world how winning  & competing in a Classic race is supposed to be done.  Every race had a great historic backstory.  Each race had intermingled histories & lives.  Each race had endings that were determined by pace.  Each race had a huge element of luck attached to it for each the top three finishers in each race.  No, there wasn't a Triple Crown this year, but what a thrill each race was in and of itself.  I loved the results of each Jewel of the Triple Crown!  What entertaining races they all were!

11 Jun 2013 9:53 PM

I'm very grateful I did well again this year in the Triple Crown races (third year in a row).  I had the winners & exotics in all three Triple Crown races by continually playing my Derby picks (Oxbow, Revolutionary, Orb, Palace Malice, Itsmyluckyday & Mylute) back-to-back in each Jewel of the Triple Crown (depending on which horse was running in which leg of the Crown, of course).  I love this time of year! - LOL.  The Triple Crown races & the Oaks Tiara races are always fun to handicap, play & watch for me, each & every year.  Watching a talented horse blossom right before your eyes in the hardest races at the toughest venues in the game is always an awesome thrill.

11 Jun 2013 9:57 PM

There has been much mumbling, grumbling and complaining about the slow times of the Derby trial and Triple Crown races, and that no "superhorse" has emerged from this year's crop.  

IMHO, Oxbow is the best 3 year old colt in the land at this moment in time, followed closely by Palace Malice, Orb, Mylute, Itsmyluckyday and Revolutionary. On the fillies' side the best are Beholder, Dreaming of Julia, Unlimited Budget & Princess of Sylmar.  

What most people have not realized is that not having a "Superhorse" emerge so far this year is actually a good thing for the sport of racing, because this year there will not be a race by the owners to retire horses to the breeding shed as in previous years.  The Eclipse Awards for 3 Year Olds are still very much up for grabs, and owners will have to cool their jets and let their horses compete against EACH OTHER head-to-head often until the end of the year - no ducking & dodging & hiding from comparable competition this year in order to have their horses legitimately be able to claim Best 2013 3 Year Old Male and Best 2013 3 Year Old Female Eclipse Awards.  That also means, barring injuries that will force retirements, these horses will probably be around to race into Year 4 and Year 5.  Just what racing fans have been saying for years is what they WANTED to have happen!  So, if you're one of those short-sighted people who complains that this crop of colts & fillies are "mediocre", "slow", "dogs", "average", "not good enough", stop complaining and start thanking the Lord for the gift you have just been handed, because your prayers have finally been answered.  Finally, you will have an entire generation of horses who will be around for years to come for you to root for, support & lionize.  This equine group will be around to create a devoted following for themselves and legends about themselves that their fans will be telling their children about 15 years from now.  That's what everyone has been dreaming of and asking for!! - LOL.  We finally have what we've been asking for!  I think it's time to start being appreciative of, and thankful for, the Equine Crop (male & female) of 2013!  

11 Jun 2013 10:21 PM

To Mookie's Hero:

What a great idea!  I agree, Palace Rumor should be found and given a forever home, if she needs one.  Mr. McBride obviously loves her, he might be the best person to go out and re-purchase her so  she will always have a home where she is loved & well-provided for.  Palace Rumor opened the door for all of Palace Malice's connections to obtain victory & success today.  I hope they would want to provide Palace Rumor the home she deserves as well as a sort of "thank you".  

Thank you for the suggestion, Mookie's Hero!

11 Jun 2013 10:37 PM

I will not forget Incognito, the best bred horse in the field.  I look forward to his next race.

11 Jun 2013 10:38 PM

I just have to say this Triple Crown series has been fantastic to me.  I became a fan of racing in 1990 (the year of my beloved Unbridled) at the tender age of 12.  Shug McGaughey, D. Wayne Lukas, Cot Campbell, the Phipps and Janneys, Gary Stevens, Mike Smith...these were the names I knew as I was growing up with the sport.  As an adult in a non-racing state, it has been harder to stay in touch with the sport, but seeing all these names again brought back so many memories and made me remember how much I love this sport.  Who thought seeing 3 different winners in the Triple Crown could bring such a smile?  As if that wasn't enough, Steve, your brilliant, picturesque writing carried me back to those days and brought joyful tears to my eyes.  I am thrilled for all connections in this year's Triple Crown and look forward to what shapes up to be an exciting summer and fall!

11 Jun 2013 10:42 PM

No outstanding 3 year old this year.  I do like Incognito, lovely pedigree.  I am still waiting for another Secretariat, maybe next year or 3 years from now, when Union Rags first crop will be at the race track.

11 Jun 2013 11:54 PM

You are simply the best when it comes to these backstories! Love your free-flowing writing style.  Your deep knowledge about your subjects really shows in pieces like this. Thank you for a very interesting and entertaining look at this horse and his connections.  

12 Jun 2013 9:54 AM
Linda in Texas

Deacon i was wondering what you were thinking and your thoughts on the winner. Always enjoy your words.

Yes, what is old is new again! Does that go for humans also?:) I sure hope so because i need the positive thing working for me at my age.

Steve, when you see Mr. Campbell please send him our regards and congratulations, the look on his face as he walked Palace Malice to the Winner's Circle and afterward was to marvel at with such adulation and deep appreciation not for himself but for the horse. Mr. Campbell is all heart, just look at his expressions. That to me was almost better than watching Palace Malice streeeeetch that looooong body with every stride.

On any Saturday - - - glad the weather cleared up. No complaints about the track and that is amazing knowing what it looked like early Saturday morning.

And thanks for this article Steve. I always learn something new with each story you tell.

And to Lila Mr. and Mrs.Campbell's

daughter. I know the love a daughter has for her daddy. Steve knows that love also and you know Mr. Campbell got the best Father's Day Gift he could at this stage of his life, Winning The Belmont, just a week and a day early!! No presents needed Lila he got the biggest bestest one besides his family he will ever need! How nice.

12 Jun 2013 11:35 AM
Golden Gate

Palace Rumor was resold recently for near $38,000 and she had a filly by City Zip sell for $60,000 at OBS not long ago.

I am sure she will have a good home especially now she threw a Belmont winner. But I do wish McBride could get her one day also Mookie and Joy.

12 Jun 2013 12:15 PM

I so concur with Joy Jackson and Mookie's Hero that Palace Rumor deserves a special place with someone who will always provide  for her.  She was saved from a terrible fate once and deserves to always feel safe.

As always, thank you Steve for providing the best backstories and coverage of all the intricate aspects of racing. Years from now, when those who come after us want to study the history of racing, you will be the Winston Churchill of the Turf!

I so enjoyed your bantering with Steve Byk and Lenny Schulman before the Belmont and as always wait for your recap of all the TC races.  

As for the horses, this year's crop of three-year-olds  is a great group with different talents and achievements.  Oxbow is a great campaigner, Orb the horse with heart and a great disposition, Palace Malice  one of the greatest triers with developing speed that will make his daddy proud throughout his whole career.  Unlimited Budget and Dreaming of Julia haven't even come into their own and perhaps we haven't seen the best of Verrazano yet either.

I think Saratoga will make a fine proving ground this summer as we head into the culmination of the year's excitement at Santa Anita in November.

Instead of waiting for a super horse. let's continue to celebrate the merits and the competitive spirits of the horses we can enjoy now.  Here's to a stellar crop of competitive three-year-olds who are making it interesting. Let's wish them all safe racing and wise decisions by their connections as they move along their path that will eventually lead to the breeding shed and their own respective legacies.  

Thank you Steve for all you do for us fans and the horses!  

12 Jun 2013 1:09 PM
Old Old Cat

I just watched the Belmont replay again.  Of special note is the end of the race.  Every horse, each and every horse, has shortened its stride, and none are chruning their legs with any speed.  It almost looks like a rocking horse gallop, with shoulders and rumps alternating exagerated up and downs.

The only thing that makes sense is that the track was especially heavy for that race.  Is that right???

12 Jun 2013 3:08 PM
The Deacon

Linda in Texas:   Palace Malice wasn't my 1st choice Revolutionary was. However I did include him my exacta with Orb but 2 out of 3 doesn't get much.  Both horses benefited from the 5 week layoff. Mike Smith did a superb job of rating the horse. Funny, but maybe the Derby was just a real solid workout for his Belmont performance.

I love the Curlin connection. We obviously need some talented sires since the A.P. Indy and Storm Cat direct sire line is gone.

Curlin was argueably the best colt we've seen race in quite a few years. Frankel didn't run in the U.S. so I don't include him.

Yes, we had some potential good ones but we lose them to injury.

I do however worry about the slow race times. This crop of 3 year olds is average at best in my opinion. That being said it doesn't diminish the accomplishment of the horse or the connections. It is hard for me to accept 1:50 and change race times for 9 furlongs on a continued basis. Then we say these horses are great horses. To me that doesn't add up.  Maybe we all got too spoiled by the great runners of the 1960's, 1970's and a few in the 1980's.  Will we ever see the likes of a Kelso, Dr. Fager, Damascus, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Spectacular Bid, Affirmed, Buckpasser, Ruffian, and a few others again. My heart says yes but my head says otherwise. This is too much of a money game now. The cost of doing business is great for these owners. The old stables are all but gone. That's why it was so gratifying to see these 3 connections do well. Like you I am an old timer. Remember, my 1st experience at the race track was the 1955 Santa Anita Derby in which Swaps won. He to was a Derby winner.  Lets face it " Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio", we may never see another Triple Crown winner but each year we all put on our happy face and remain hopeful.

Steve always does his superb job in bringing us all the up to date information on these horses and his story telling is awesome.

I love your posts as well......... :)

12 Jun 2013 7:03 PM

It's never wise to expect big things of a horse based on pedigree alone; there have been thousands of well-bred colts that never ran a step.  I partially agree with Mary; Incognito is well bred.  However, I don't think his pedigree is truly a standout in the group of colts discussed on this blog.  IMO, Revolutionary and Orb have pedigrees equally as impressive, in fact there are similarities in that AP Indy is prominent in all three.  Personally, I prefer Orb's pedigree over Incognito's, only because I'm not a fan of Unbridled's Song.  I've seen a good many unsound horses from this sire, and I don't think the unsoundness comes through Unbridled (Orb's dam-sire).  Oxbow's pedigree is nothing to sneeze at either.

12 Jun 2013 8:58 PM

Wow, what a great story about Palace Rumor!  Leave it to you, Steve, to make me feel good about the winner even though he really wasn't my choice.  I have been behind Revolutionary every time, even though Orb and Oxbow are wonderful.  Oxbow is very like Shackleford with his grit and determination.  All heart!  Just the kind of horse I always love.  Revolutionary has loads of talent and I hope to see him rise to his potential and maybe have a bit of luck.

It was a lovely day at Belmont - we were worried about the weather but it was a perfect day.

Congratulations on your picks so far this year.  As for me, I'm betting whoever Steve picks all the way through the Breeder's Cup.

12 Jun 2013 9:05 PM

I questioned Steve's pick of Palace Malace for the Belmont but today I am eating crow while he is walking around with a fatter wallet.

13 Jun 2013 4:35 AM

Thanks Steve for another great post. There is no one better at tying up the loose ends and weaving them into a great story.

I enjoyed the races even though we did not get TC winner. It just goes to show in my humble opinion how talented our TC winners in the 1970's were. I think that we are going to see Secretariat and Seattle Slew in the bloodlines of winning racehorses for many generations.

I am fascinated by Incognito..there is something about him that just gets my attention. Part of it is the width between his eyes and his eyes. So I hope he does well the rest of the season.

Congrats to Orb, Oxbow and Palace Malice and their teams. They all worked and trained and ran hard for their victories and gave all they had. What more could you ask from the horse or his team.

So thankful all were safe and am praying that there are no breakdowns the rest of the racing season.

Look forward to your next post!

13 Jun 2013 9:34 PM

robinm, disagree with you.  Revolutionary, Incognito, Palace Malice, and Will Take Charge were all bred for stamina over speed.  I am cognizant of the fact that it takes more than pedigree to win any graded stakes race. Don't get me wrong, Orb, and Oxbo are nice horses, but they had no chance of winning the Triple Crown, the pedigree was just not there.  

I will say that the pedigree was there for PM and Revolutionary, as well as Incognito and Will Take Charge, but unfortunately PM and Revolutionary, both had the wrong trainer to get it done.  Pedigree, trainer, luck, and jockey all must come together.    

13 Jun 2013 10:42 PM
Pedigree Ann

Just to get some perspective - the class of 1957 (foaled in 1954) is said by many to be the best crop of 3yo colts ever seen in this country. And the Triple Crown races had three different winners that year - Iron Liege in the Derby, Bold Ruler in the Preakness, and Gallant Man in the Belmont. Hall of Famer Round Table could only finish 3rd in the Derby.

Having three different winners in the Triple Crown races only means that the crop is pretty even in quality. Whether that quality is high or low or just average is yet to be determined.

15 Jun 2013 10:53 AM

Oxbow and Orb were the two most effective colts through the Triple Crown series.  Incognito was impressive finishing 4th in the Belmont, but despite being a relatively "fresh" horse by virtue of not having competed in 3 tough races in 5 weeks, both Oxbow and Orb finished ahead of him.

15 Jun 2013 8:39 PM
The Peacock

Loved it 'little brother.' You had all the right quotes ovaled. :)

20 Jun 2013 3:34 AM

To Golden Gate:

Thank you so much for the information on Palace Rumor.  It's much appreciated and puts me more at ease that she will have a good life ahead of her.  Sentimentally, I would love for Palace Rumor & Mr. McBride to be reunited someday.  He fiercely loves this mare - I'm sure he would adore having her back in his life.

And to Azeri1,

I totally agree with you.  She deserves to have a wonderful forever home - one in which she is pampered and adored! - LOL.  

Have a great Fourth of July holiday, everyone!

20 Jun 2013 7:19 PM

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