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Mar 28, 2014

Palace Malice versus Normandy Invasion at Fair Grounds


New Orleans, LA ( - Palace Malice and Normandy Invasion meet for the first time since racing in last year's Kentucky Derby in Saturday's $400,000 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds Race Course.

The two 4-year-olds headline a field of eight older thoroughbreds in the 1 1/8-mile stakes.

Owned by Dogwood Stable, Palace Malice has drawn the outside post and will be reunited with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

"He has run there twice. He is an easy shipper, and we reunite with a rider who knows him well, having won the Belmont (Stakes) and the Jim Dandy on him," said Cot Campbell, Dogwood president.

Palace Malice, trained by Todd Pletcher, is coming off a head victory in the Gulfstream Park Handicap three weeks ago. The win was the 4-year-old colt's fourth in 13 lifetime starts and gave him career earnings of $1,631,135.

As a 3-year-old in 2013, Palace Malice posted three wins in 10 starts for just under $1.42 million. Along with winning the Belmont Stakes he won the Jim Dandy at Saratoga and finished second in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and Belmont Park's Jockey Club Gold Cup. He finished the year with a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

In the Kentucky Derby, Palace Malice finished 12th with Normandy Invasion getting fourth after setting much of the pace.

Owned by Fox Hill Farm, Normandy Invasion will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik from post 5 in his second start of the year.

The colt, trained by Chad Brown, won his 2014 debut at Gulfstream Park last month when he posted a 7 3/4-length victory in an allowance race. It was his first start since last year's Run for the Roses. He suffered an abscess in his front hoof which kept from competing the remainder of 2013.

Normandy Invasion has won two of seven starts for $424,390.

Here is the field for the New Orleans Handicap in post position order: Bradester, James Graham; Mister Marti Gras, Florent Geroux; Golden Soul, Brian Hernandez Jr.; Prayer for Relief, Shaun Bridgmohan; Normandy Invasion, Rosie Napravnik; Sunbean, Richard Eramia; Fordubai, Robby Albarado and Palace Malice, Mike Smith.

Post time for the New Orleans Handicap will be approximately 6:25 p.m. ET.

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