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Mar 01, 2013

Palace Malice still headed for Churchill Downs


New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Dogwood Stable's Palace Malice did not disappoint his connections in finishing third in last Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. The 3-year-old colt was making his stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile race.

"Palace Malice ran his expected high-class race in top stakes company and was beaten a half-length for all of it in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds," Dogwood president Cot Campbell said on the stable's website. "He was not completely focused at the break, and did not find a forward position as desired.

"Rosie Napravnik rode him well, although the colt showed some greenness (it was only his fourth race, and he was the only horse in the field that had not been around two turns before). She was forced to lose a little ground at the quarter pole. He switched leads very late in the stretch. It was heartening because he ran a terrific race, but disappointing because, with a few wrinkles ironed out, he could have changed the outcome."

Palace Malice, a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, is still in the mix for the Kentucky Derby, although no decision has been made on his next race.

"We need to wait a few days until the smoke clears and then come up with the next plan, which would certainly include the Louisiana Derby," Campbell continued, "but we want to look at other options also. He is number 18 on the list of point bearers, and I think he'll go to the Kentucky Derby.

"It is interesting that he's still not three years old and won't be until May 5. The jockey situation - as is always the case in the Derby buildup - is very much up in the air and we'll need to firm that up as soon as possible."

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Palace Malice was second in his career debut at Belmont Park last July 5 and won next time out at Saratoga on Aug. 4. At Gulfstream Park on Jan. 19 on a sloppy track he finished second in an allowance optional claiming race.

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