Brian Nadeau wrote a summary of the Derby on the Xpressbet blog this week where he looked at three horses he thought raced better than they finished. I agree with his choices.
But I think the most overlooked horse in this years Derby field in terms of how he raced and where he finished was Palace Malice.
Palace Malice, first time blinkered, was as close to a complete runaway you are ever going to see in the Derby. He was keyed up, fractious and really a total mess. Usually when you and I watch such horses race, they are walking across the finish line, even in a sprint. They expend so much energy, they have nothing - not an ounce - of will left.
Palace Malice didn't really do that. He was first through a suicide quarter of around 22.4, then ran off around the turn in about 23 flat. His 3/4's was near the same speed of the winner of the Sprint two races earlier. The horses who were dealing with him were Goldencents, Falling Sky, Vyjack, Verrazano and It'smyluckyday.
Those horses all finished behind Palace Malice.
During the Kentucky Derby coverage, one of the commentators (I cannot remember which one) spoke about Palace Malice being a horse that Pletcher loved early on; a horse that showed the most talent of all of his stock.
They might end up being right. If Palace Malice is not so mentally dusted from the experience, they get him sound and happy again (and probably take off those awful blinkers), we might see more than we expect from this runner. This despite the records of a number of Pletcher trainees who have faltered post-Derby.
I haven't heard too many talk about this colts Derby, in other than a derogatory fashion. I think he raced well.
That's my 2 cents anyway.
Enjoy your Thursday everyone.
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