Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont Stakes by three-and-a-quarter lengths after breaking away from Oxbow during the final furlong.
America's Best Racing had a shot of the horse, draped in carnations, in the winner's circle following the race:
The 145th running of the Run for Carnations didn’t turn out a Triple Crown winner in Elmont, but it was a thrilling ride to the finish line nonetheless.
It was a tremendous comeback performance by Palace Malice after the horse finished in 12th place at the Kentucky Derby. In fact, it was nearly historical as ESPN pointed out:
This year’s mile-and-a-half Test of the Champion featured two previous Triple Crown race-winners, Oxbow and Orb. However, it was Mike Smith aboard Palace Malice that was draped in carnations at the race’s end.
Those two previous winners ran good races as well, finishing in second and third place.
Following the action, Palace Malice—the horse—couldn't wait to take to Twitter to talk about his victory at Belmont Park:
Frac Daddy set an early fast pace but didn’t have the stamina to maintain it during the 1-5-mile marathon, slipping all the way to the back of the pack.
Oxbow took over the lead next and held onto it until after the 1-mile mark and finished the race steady to finish in second. Palace Malice made a strong push, though, from the outside during the far turn, taking the lead and blowing away the field in the final two furlongs.
Orb was trailing for much of the race but the Kentucky Derby winner's late push didn't have enough steam for him to catch Palace Malice and Oxbow following their final turn surge.
Strong Kentucky Derby finishers Revolutionary and Golden Soul finished in fifth- and ninth-place, respectively.
2013 Belmont Stakes Payouts
$2 Exacta: (12-7) paid $323.50; $2 Trifecta: (12-7-5) paid $931.00; $2 Superfecta: (12-7-5-6) paid $20,602.00.
*Payout information courtesy of ESPN
2013 Belmont Stakes Results
|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|
*Results provided by NBC's telecast of 2013 Belmont Stakes
Watch the 2013 Belmont Stakes Again
What We Learned at Elmont
Favorites are Favored for a Reason
While Orb and Oxbow didn’t win the race, they did turn out terrific performances at the 145th Belmont Stakes. Their world-class teams are a testament to what training and excellent riding can do for a horse at a race with such big stakes.
Orb, jockeyed and trained by Hall of Famers Joel Rosario and Shug McGaughey, was impressive to finish his third Triple Crown race within the top four finishers.
Oxbow, also surrounded with Hall of Fame talent, demonstrated why he was a favorite coming into the running. A win looked possible after the final surge, but a determined Mike Smith aboard Palace Malice would not be denied.
Palace Malice’s trainer Todd Pletcher is no slouch either: he fielded five horses this year in Elmont. The future Hall of Famer has won at Belmont before, running a filly to the crown in 2007. Jockey Mike Smith has also had success at the track before, although his first and last win there was 23 years ago.
Anything Can Happen at Belmont Park
For the second race in a row, a race-favorite failed to capture a win. Belmont Park has been everything but predictable in the past and that calling rang true when Palace Malice crossed the finish line ahead of Orb and Oxbow this year.
Its nerve-wracking uncertainty makes this event one of the finest of the yearly trio of world-class thoroughbred races.
Billy Finley, in a special to ESPN, put the unpredictability of the race the best when he said, according to ESPN:
No Grade 1 race in America has produced more seemingly hopeless winners over the past few years than the Belmont has, and it's not hard to see why. The mile-and-a-half distance makes this race a crapshoot.
No Triple Crown? No Problem
The 2013 Belmont Stakes featured two previous Triple Crown race-winners and a large 14-horse field, the biggest since 1996. It has been the site of many shocking upsets and heartbreaks over the years. Typically, previous race winners haven’t fared well at the long mile-and-a-half race.
Prior to the race, Kenny Rice broke down the last time a previous Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ came out on top at Belmont Park:
Those streaks remain intact after Palace Malice stole the show in Elmont.
One thing is certain: this race is a true test of endurance, strategy and skill that has helped make it the jewel of the season.