The homebred son of 2007 Belmont Stakes runner-up and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin was 12th in his most recent start, the Kentucky Derby, but the bay colt won in convincing fashion, beating Preakness champion Oxbow down the stretch.
Palace Malice took a while to fulfill expectations, winning only one of his first seven starts before his Triple Crown win, with three seconds and a third also on his resume.
Curlin was one of the best US horses of the 2000s and became the all-time earnings leader in North America, but never won the Belmont as he was out-duelled by the filly Rags to Riches in 2007.
Palace Malice trainer Todd Pletcher won his first Triple Crown race by training Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the race in 102 years, to her victory over Curlin by a head.
A five-time Eclipse Award winner as the top US trainer who won his first Kentucky Derby in 2010 with Super Saver, Pletcher had a record five starters in the 14-horse Belmont field.
Palace Malice was the second Belmont starter for Dogwood Stable's Cot Campbell, whose Impeachment finished fifth in 2000.
The 85-year-old Campbell, a former advertising executive, formulated the idea of racing partnerships in 1969 and prominent Dogwood runners include 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall, whose daughter, Eclipse Award winner Storm Song, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in 1996.
Campbell received an Eclipse Award of Merit in 2010, and has written three books: Lightning in a Jar, Rascals and Racehorses, and Memoirs of a Longshot.
Jockey Mike Smith won his first Belmont Stakes aboard Drosselmeyer in 2010, 20 years after finishing second aboard Thirty Six Red in the 1990 edition.
Other Triple Crown wins for the 2003 Hall of Fame inductee are the 1993 Preakness, aboard Prairie Bayou, and the 2005 Kentucky Derby on Giacomo.
Smith was the regular rider for 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull, 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri and Zenyatta, who won 19 times in 20 starts.
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