Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The long awaited return to the races for 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice will take place on Saturday, March 8.
Trainer Todd Pletcher announced Thursday that the 4-year-old colt will start in the one-mile $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
"He's been training really well and everything's gone smoothly so far," Pletcher said. "I felt like this is a good place to get him started again."
Owned by Dogwood Stable, Palace Malice has been off since finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic behind Mucho Macho Man on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
"His works have all been good. He's always been a horse that trains very well, and doesn't seem to have lost any enthusiasm," Pletcher said. "I think the freshening should have done him well, and we hope to have a big year. It's always fun to get one like him going again."
Palace Malice was second to Java's War in last year's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby. Following his win in the Belmont Stakes he captured the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga and was fourth in the Travers.
Racing against older horses for the first time, Palace Malice was second to Ron the Greek in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.
"His race in the Jockey Club was good; there was just one horse better, unfortunately, on the day," Pletcher said. "The Breeders' Cup kind of all went wrong at the start. He didn't break well that day and got shuffled back. (Jockey) Johnny (Velazquez) got hurt earlier in the card and he was supposed to ride him. Rafael (Bejarano) rode him for the first time and wasn't familiar with him. It kind of all went wrong, but he made a big middle move and it was just kind of hard to make up ground on the track that day."
The colt has won three of 12 career starts for $1,481,135.