Palace Malice will run next in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 30 and Edgar Prado will ride him, it was announced Wednesday by Dogwood President Cot Campbell. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt exits a close third over the Fair Grounds' track in his stakes bow, the Grade 2 Risen Star on February 23.
"He was beaten a half-length for all the money in the Risen Star, and that was the colt's first time around two turns, so the mile and an eighth race is the logical next step for this Curlin colt, one that is bred to appreciate a route," Campbell said.
Prado will replace Rosie Napravnik, who will be at Gulfstream Park to ride Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.
"Understandably, our previous rider Rosie Napravnik goes to Florida that day for Shanghai Bobby, the two-year-old champion. But we have done much fine business with Edgar, a splendid, Hall of Fame rider, in sharp form right now," Campbell added. "We're all looking for points and Fair Grounds seems the best place for us to find some more to add to our 10.
"Palace Malice is based in Florida with Todd Pletcher, but he's an easy going colt who won't mind the journey. He's run four times at four different racetracks."
Out of the stakes-winning Royal Anthem mare Palace Rumor, Palace Malice was purchased for $200,000 by Dogwood last April at the Keeneland Two-Year-Old Sale. After finishing a close second in his career debut at Belmont Park in July, the bay colt broke his maiden by a 3 1/2-length margin at Saratoga, but he was sidelined the rest of his two-year-old season.
Palace Malice returned to the races with a good second to Majestic Hussar in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claiming event in Gulfstream's slop on January 19, and the Kentucky-bred threatened to win the Risen Star when rallying strongly into contention during the stretch run.
Campbell said the colt would ship to Fair Grounds in New Orleans around March 27 or 28, with a draft of Florida-based runners.