Palace Malice put significant distance between himself and the two reigning Triple Crown race winners to stride to an impressive victory at Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
The 145th Run for the Carnations produced the year's third different champion in Triple Crown races. Preakness victor Oxbow wound up in second, and Kentucky Derby trophy-bearer Orb finished third to complete the trio that finished in the money.
Below is a look at the payout for each horse, a video replay of the race in Elmont, New York's Belmont Park and further analysis on each of the top finishers to cap off the 2013 Triple Crown schedule.
List of Payouts
|Palace Malice ||$29.60||$11.20||$6.70|
|Orb||— ||— ||$3.90|
$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.
Complete Results for 145th Belmont Stakes
|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|
Win: Palace Malice
When Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith approached the gate, his horse was listed as a relative long shot at 15-1. It was certainly not trainer Todd Pletcher's perceived top contender, but Smith's mount proved to be a winning one.
The ambitious early pace Palace Malice set at the Kentucky Derby doomed him to a 12th-place finish at Churchill Downs.
Which long shot Triple Crown victory was more impressive in 2013?
Frac Daddy cruised early, but Smith didn't push Palace Malice too hard this time; however, he still kept him within striking distance. When the other horses inevitably slowed during the second half, Palace Malice slowly inched forward before exploding down the final furlongs.
It would not have been advisable to wager on Palace Malice, but he did pay a handsome $29.60 for a win. Those who were bold enough to go in on an across-the-board bet on the speedy horse were certainly rewarded handsomely.
The $2 trifecta paid $931, while the $2 superfecta netted bettors over $20,000. Other than Palace Malice, things shook out according to the oddsmakers' projections.
Experience can never be negated, and jockey Gary Stevens' status as a previous three-time winner in the Belmont Stakes paid huge dividends for Oxbow to show on Saturday.
Oxbow isn't the biggest horse and is more of a sprinter, but Stevens did a magnificent job aboard him in Belmont Park. What is most impressive is that Oxbow remained near the front of the pack throughout, but didn't have quite enough to push Palace Malice at the end.
It could be argued that Stevens may have broken him a bit too soon, though he didn't have much of a choice on the physically demanding, 1.5-mile journey.
BloodHorse.com's Claire Novak was extremely impressed with Oxbow's run, where he showcased unexpected stamina in further justifying Stevens' return to the saddle after a seven-year hiatus in retirement:
I have been dissing Oxbow all year. After that #Belmont performance, he earned my respect. That horse is tough as nails and incredibly game!— Claire Novak (@ClaireNovak) June 9, 2013
The morning line listed Oxbow with 5-1 odds, which were third in the 14-horse field. Still, his style didn't seem like a great fit for Belmont Park. Those who took the flier and trusted the oddsmakers anyway, though, made good on their respective decisions.
Betting on Orb wasn't the most lucrative route to go. For the third consecutive Triple Crown race, he was the morning-line favorite and the horse to beat out of the starting gates.
With odds of 2-1, the payout for his third-place effort was not exactly booming. Orb's combination of size and speed intrigued oddsmakers enough to label him the No. 1 contender despite a disappointing fourth-place effort at the Preakness.
Jockey Joel Rosario lagged at the back of the pack in the early going, making the true push for Orb's bid for a second Triple Crown win a bit too late.
Shug McGaughey wasn't too disappointed in the run, but the trainer did hint at how much ground Orb had to make up—and ultimately could not—toward the end, per America's Best Racing on Twitter:
The $3.90 payout for Show wasn't big, but those who had Orb in bets involving multiple horses had a relatively surefire commodity that was necessary to win the riskier propositions.