Watching Palice Malice’s 2013 Belmont Stakes victory video won’t get old anytime soon.
It was a masterful performance by a well-trained and expert-saddled colt to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second win at Belmont Park.
Here’s a replay of the thrilling come-from-behind win, in case you missed it or just can’t get enough:
The buildup is oftentimes the best part of such a storied and historic event such as the Belmont Stakes. Everyone had their fun predicting, speculating and getting the spirit for the race to come.
ESPN The Magazine scored, perhaps, the best joke of the day during the pre-race activities:
Hard to say who will win #BelmontStakes today, but we can guarantee this about the losing horses after the race: a lot of long faces.— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) June 8, 2013
New York Racing Association provided a pre-race picture of the eventual winner, Palace Malice:
Things got serious, though, pretty quickly as they typically do at these enjoyable events. Before you knew it 14 jockeys mounted their horses and settled into the starting gate. Each had every intention of coming away with a victory at the Belmont Stakes.
DFR’s Lou Monaco provided a shot of the gate as the field began to take their post positions:
After some early jockeying for position, it became clear that this was Oxbow, Palace Malice and Orb's race to run. Oxbow took control after early front-runner Frac Daddy exhausted himself in the first half-mile.
From there, the Preakness champion ran an excellent race. However, Palace Malice's steady, but swift, pace left him sitting in a perfect position to storm to the front during the final furlongs.
Heading around the final turn is when jockey Mike Smith seized the opportunity to surge ahead to the front. The now two-time Belmont Stakes winner and Palace Malice never looked back from there.
New York Racing Association provided a great, up-close shot of the final moments of the race just before the finish line:
This shot gives a better view of the distance between Palace Malice and Oxbow, the runner-up.
Newsday reporter Candice Ruud captured a shot of the victory heading to the winner’s circle:
There are few things in this world than seeing the pure, unadulterated expression of joy in another person. We've seen it again and again in the sports world over the ages, but it would be hard to find another image more moving than Smith's scream for joy following his win at Belmont Park.
After the slow walk to the winner's circle, America’s Best Racing provided a perfect shot of Palace Malice draped in carnations:
The biggest surprise of the race, other than Palace Malice stealing the show, was the fast track. Inclement weather during the days leading up to the race had many believe there was going to be a sloppy, muddy evening in Elmont.
Things cleared up, though, and the race was ran at a very brisk pace.
So what did Palace Malice's team do differently this time around as opposed to their 12th-place finish at Churchill Downs?
Prior to the race, Cot Campbell, Palace Malice's stable owner, made the call to remove the blinkers from the horse's eyes after the horse flamed out early at the Kentucky Derby.
"He had blinkers on designed to focus him," Campbell said. "I think that sometimes causes a horse to be a little bit speed crazy. With the blinkers on that day at Churchill Downs, his speed could not be conserved, so I'd say the blinkers are off."
That strategic adjustment payed off huge for Pletcher's team at Belmont Park.
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 courtesy of on-air NBC telecast
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