Palace Malice won the final leg of the Triple Crown, as the horse with 13-1 odds reached the top of the Belmont Stakes 2013 results.
How did the race play out? Watch below:
Here are the final standings, as Palace Malice wins, Oxbow places, and Orb shows:
|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|
Palace Malice, led by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, ran a perfect race. He stuck with the lead group Oxbow, Frac Daddy and Freedom Child. With Orb charging down the stretch from the back of the pack, Palace Malice calmly made his move.
With a quarter-of-a-mile left, Palace Malice took the lead for good. Here's how it looked at the end of the race:
This race was not a historic race. The Triple Crown drought continues, as we've gone now 35 years without a horse sweeping the biggest three races. Palace Malice finished 12th at the Derby and didn't run in the Preakness, so it's not as if he even had a chance for a double.
The two other winners of the Triple Crown races—Orb and Oxbow—didn't run terribly, but they didn't really run great. Oxbow was unable to hold off Palace Malice, and Orb was unable to catch up to Oxbow, who looked like he was losing steam down the stretch.
It probably won't be a race that many will remember in the next few years. While it's desperately obvious the sport needs a real Triple Crown contender, it would've been nice for either Orb or Oxbow to win, so that there could have at least been a double winner.
That would not happen in this race, and Palace Malice did run a stellar race, making sure to not get too far behind and to break at the right time. But it did not have the cache of a Triple Crown race. If anything, it was just another race.
Horse racing got a taste of Triple Crown fever last year, when I'll Have Another won the first two legs. But he was scratched before Belmont with an injury and retired, just another on the list of almosts.
Palace Malice isn't an almost. Neither is Orb, or Oxbow. It was just another run-of-the mill race.
We can choose to remember this race for jockey Mike Smith's technical skill, the ease in which he brought Palace Malice to the front of the pack. We can choose to remember this race for the fact that Orb was unable to complete a late charge, showing that perhaps his Kentucky Derby victory was a fluke.
We should remember this race, though, as just another race, just another line in a growing list of Triple Crown failures, just another footnote on this sport's growing irrelevance.
We all gain a bit of hope in May, hopeful that this new crop of horses will produce the next Affirmed, the next legend.
We had that hope in Orb. It quickly faded. We had even a glimmer of hope in Oxbow. That faded. Now, we just have Palace Malice, a fine horse that peaked way too late.
He ran a fine race. But in the end, as the sport looks for one more hero, is one fine race going to do it?
In this case, probably not.