USA: Palace tops Whitney nine

Palace Malice - Saratoga Racecourse 27/07/13

Palace Malice: bids to give Todd Pletcher back-to-back wins in the feature

  PICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos  

BOOKMAKERS have installed Palace Malice a warm order for the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga today as the four-year-old bids to record back-to-back victories in the race for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Last seen securing Belmont Park’s Metropolitan Handicap in fine style, Palace Malice goes in search of a fifth straight graded win in the £1,500,000 contest at 10.46pm BST and live on At The Races. Bet365 had already begun to batten down the hatches about the hot favourite on Friday, clipping him into 5-6 from even money. Paddy Power quoted 4-5 but Ladbrokes’ neck was out at 5-4.

Palace Malice faces eight rivals, including Stephen Foster third Departing, whose trainer Albert Stall Jr was in a bullish mood.

Quoted on bloodhorse.com he said: “His breeze two weeks ago was something to behold. He gives you a little confidence going in the way he seems to like it around here.”

Pletcher will be looking to stamp his authority on the 11-race card in the two preceding Grade 1 contests, saddling Capo Bastone in the Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap, and both Sweet Whiskey and Red Velvet in the Test Stakes.

Both those markets have an open look to them, and firms were slightly at odds over the chances of favourite Sweet Reason in the Test Stakes. Paddy Power installed her 4-1 but Ladbrokes were keener at 5-2.

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