Palace Malice, whose victories include the Belmont Stakes and Metropolitan Mile, has been cleared by veterinarians to return to training for his 5-year-old thoroughbred season, Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell said Friday.
He will spend two-to-three months at Dogwood’s Aiken headquarters for conditioning before moving to Florida to begin preparations for the 2015 season under trainer Todd Pletcher.
Palace Malice had won all four of this 2014 starts before running poorly and placing sixth in the Whitney Stakes. The out-of-character performance prompted Dogwood to conduct a thorough physical, which revealed a bone bruise. Campbell announced the injury would force the colt’s retirement and asked for offers for breeding rights.
Three Chimneys Farm’s bid included the option for him to race again if he were sound, and examinations in Lexington, Ky., gave him a clean bill of health on Thursday.
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The results “were as good as we hoped they would be,” Campbell said. Doctors “pronounced him completely sound. Therefore, he shipped Friday from Three Chimneys to Aiken.”
Palace Malice is a 4-year-old who won seven of 17 career starts and has earned $2,676,235 in his career. His achievements include the rare combination of victories in the Met Mile and the Belmont Stakes (11⁄2 miles).
A son of Curlin, a two-time horse of the year, her was favored to win 2014 horse of the year honors before the injury ended his season in September.
Three Chimneys bought one-half interest in Palace Malice after the injury. After he retires from racing, Three Chimneys will acquire full ownership. He will race in the name of Three Chimneys Farm/Dogwood Stable and carry Dogwood’s green-and- gold colors.
“We’re excited and we look forward to a 2015 campaign that has the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic as our ultimate goal,” said Three Chimneys chairman Concalo Torrealba.