Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont Stakes by a comfortable margin, pulling away from the entire field down the home stretch. Preakness winner Oxbow finished in second palace, with Kentucky Derby winner Orb finishing in third place, as announced by SportsCenter:
BREAKING: Palace Malice wins the 145 Belmont Stakes. Oxbow (Preakness winner) and Orb (Kentucky Derby winner) finished 2nd and 3rd.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 8, 2013
Right out of the gates, Frac Daddy and Freedom Child jumped ahead of the field.
Halfway through the race, Oxbow was leading Freedom Child by a nose, while Orb was way in the back of the pack. Palace Malice was waiting in the middle of the pack, but he turned on the jets heading into the second half of the race.
Rounding the final turn, Oxbow and Palace Malice were well ahead of the field, and Palace Malice surged ahead of all the horses on the home stretch for the convincing win.
While rain had pelted the track at Belmont Park on Friday, by the time the race began, Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form reported the track as "good to fast," which set up an amazing race:
Main track has gone from muddy/sealed to good to fast following 3.5 inches of rain yesterday/last night. Amazing job by local crew. #belmont— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) June 8, 2013
With sun shining down upon horse and rider alike, the 145th running of "The Run for the Carnations" was a spectacular show.
Here's a look at the final standings, courtesy of the official NBC broadcast:
|1||12||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher|
|2||7||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas|
|3||5||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey|
|4||6||Incognito||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|5||9||Revolutionary||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|6||13||Unlimited Budget||Rosie Napravnik||Todd Pletcher|
|7||3||Overanalyze||Johh Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|8||11||Vyjack||Julien Leparoux||Rudy Rogriguez|
|9||14||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart|
|10||10||Will Take Charge||Jon Court||D. Wayne Lukas|
|11||4||Giant Finish||Edgar Prado||Anthony Dutrow|
|12||8||Midnight Taboo||Garrett Gomez||Todd Pletcher|
|13||2||Freedom Child||Luis Saez||Tom Albertrani|
|14||1||Frac Daddy||Alan Garcia||Ken McPeek|
Here's a look at the biggest surprises from the 2013 Belmont Stakes.
Palace Malice Wins
A 13-1 shot at the start of the race, Palace Malice hadn't lived up to expectations at the Kentucky Derby, finishing in 12th place. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was the third-worst finish by a future Belmont winner in the history of the race:
Palace Malice: wins Belmont Stakes after 12th-place finish in Kentucky Derby. That is the 3rd-worst Derby Finish by a Belmont Stakes winner— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2013
Heavy favorites Oxbow and Orb finished behind this horse, to nobody's surprise. But Palace Malice was kind of a forgotten contender heading into the race.
The final stretch run was a thing of beauty, as jockey Mike Smith unleashed Palace Malice at just the right time. Coming off the last corner, it appeared the horse was being flung to the front by a sling shot, and in the end nobody could catch him.
Golden Soul Finishes in Ninth Place
A second-place finisher at the Derby, Golden Soul was a popular choice by many writers as a potential winner at this year's Belmont, including Ray Paulick of PaulickReport.com:
Nobody expected this horse to finish in ninth place—not after he ran such a beautiful race at Churchill Downs earlier this year.
But the long track proved to be too much of a challenge for Golden Soul, and you can be sure a lot of people wish they could take back their bets.
Revolutionary Finishes Outside the Money
Revolutionary entered the race as one of the heavy favorites to win, so a finish outside the money is a bit of a surprise.
This horse ran a brilliant race at Churchill Downs earlier this year and had won three races prior to a third-place finish behind Orb and Golden Soul at the Derby.
While a fifth-place finish isn't anything to scoff at, it's not as impressive as many people expected. This horse has an excellent frame, is a strong animal and displays impressive speed. But in the end, the only thing people will remember about Revolutionary is that he cost them a chance at winning a trifecta.
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