New York-bred Palace rallied in deep stretch under Cornelio Velasquez to win the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths under 129 pounds in the 4-year-old colt's first try in graded stakes company. He edged Strapping Groom, with The Lumber Guy third and Caixa Eletronica fourth in the Thanksgiving Day handicap for older sprinters timed in 1:09.82 for six furlongs on a fast dirt track. Strapping Groom carried high weight of 135 pounds in this unique handicap run for the 100th time.
Trained by Linda Rice for Antonino Miuccio, Palace is a son of the Lane's End stallion City Zip out of Receivership, by End Sweep. Bred in New York by the Peter J. Callahan Revocable Trust, Palace was claimed for $20,000 by his current connections from trainer Bill Mott and WinStar Farm in his third start, a maiden claiming race at Belmont Park in October 2012 that he won by 11 3/4 lengths. He's since rung up seven wins, including two stakes restricted to New York-breds. The $180,000 Palace won in the Fall Highweight brought his total earnings to $712,050.
Linda Rice, winning trainer of Palace (No. 5): “I really think he likes sitting off the pace as a come-from-behind sprinter. He seems to relish that, and, now that we have figured that out, he's doing great.”
“I was really excited about today's race, because it is quite gratifying. The fact he's a son of City Zip – I trained [Palace's] father, who was such a tremendous racehorse – makes it really cool.”
Cornelio Velasquez, winning jockey on Palace (No. 5): “Perfect trip. My horse broke good, good position. He's better outside. [Jockey Joel] Rosario gave me a chance at the quarter pole.”
“I think he's getting much better all the time. Before, he wanted to run on the lead; now he's better coming from behind. He ran good the last part of the race – fast. I followed the Jacobson horse [Strapping Groom]. At the top of the lane, I had a lot of horse.”
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