Not content with carrying off just one Grade 1 prize from the current Saratoga meet with his victory in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on August 2, Antonio Miuccio’s former claimer Palace doubled the glory on the final Saturday of racing, sitting off a hot pace in the $500,000 Forego Stakes before drawing off to a powerful open-length victory for trainer Linda Rice. The victory in one of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races guarantees the 5-year-old son of City Zip a place in the starting gate for Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Partnered again with regular rider Cornelio Velasquez and stretching out from the six-furlong Vanderbilt to seven panels, 4-1 second choice Palace sat off a the pace in third for the first half-mile, while longshot Zee Bros set taxing fractions of 22.48 and 45.23.
When Zee Bros came off the rail at the head of the stretch, Palace dove inside, rallied powerfully and took over with a furlong to go. He drew off to a dominant 3 1/2-length victory. Fellow New York-bred Big Business completed the exacta under Junior Alvarado for trainer David Jacobson and owner Gary Barber at odds of 20-1. Vyjack finished third. The final time for seven furlongs was an eye-catching 1:21.95. [VIDEO]
Jockey Cornelio Velasquez said, “I wanted to break good and stay in good position behind the speed. I had a lot of horse. When the opening came, I was in good position. I think my horse is the best sprinting horse now.”
Linda Rice addressed her decision to run Palace in the Forego at seven furlongs, possibly not his preferred distance, after considering waiting for the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park on September 27.
“[Palace] is a really talented horse, and when he is good I need to use him,” Rice said. “On several occasions I’ve needed to stop on him, turn him out, and give him a break. When a horse is doing as well as he is, I don’t know how long I can keep him that good.”
Added Rice, “He’s such a special horse, and [owner Antonino] Miuccio has allowed me to stop on him, turn him out, and give him a break whenever he needs it, and it’s obviously paid off.”
Rice claimed Palace from Bill Mott and WinStar Farm for $20,000 out of a maiden-breaking 11 3/4-length romp on October 6, 2012. Since then Palace has won nine races including six stakes. He followed up a win in the Chowder’s First Stakes for New York-bred sprinters in his stakes debut last August at Saratoga with a victory in the Hudson Handicap on Showcase day in the fall. Palace has also won the Grade 3 Fall Highweight, Grade 2 True North and G1 Vanderbilt, after which he became a millionaire.
Palace’s victory in the Grade 1 Forego runs up his record to 11 wins, five seconds and two thirds from 20 starts and boosts his earnings to $1,309,550.
Bred by The Peter J. Callahan Revocable Trust Dated 2/28/02 and foaled at Jeffrey Tucker’s Stone Bridge Farm in Gansevoort, Palace was purchased by Doug Cauthen, agent for $160,000 at the 2011 OBS select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
He is one of three winning foals and two stakes performers from Receivership, a seven-time winner by End Sweep ($198,300) who brought $85,000 at the 2005 OBS Winter mixed sale and also produced stakes-placed Retriever (Golden Missile). A half-sister to Grade 2 winner French Park, Receivership currently has a 2-year-old by Badge of Silver named Wincoma, a yearling colt by Posse and weanling filly by Pomeroy. She has been bred to City Zip.