Crystalle the first stakes winner for Palace Malice
Friday, August 30, 2019
Crystalle rallied from last at the top of the stretch to win Saratoga's $100,000 P. G. Johnson S. on Thursday to become Palace Malice's first stakes winner.

The 2-year-old filly was as much as eight lengths from the front before she commenced her march to the lead about three furlongs from the wire. Going four-wide into the stretch, she was closing stoutly but the finish still looked in doubt until Crystalle made one final surge to beat Sweet Melania to the wire by a neck.

“At the eighth pole, I didn't think she had enough. She kind of stalled a bit but then she got her second wind a little bit and got up just in time,” said winning trainer John Kimmel. “She didn't have much early speed, but she did have a good late kick. That's a good thing to have. We're thinking about Breeders’ Cup. Now, we'll probably point to the Miss Grillo [G2, Sept. 29 at Belmont] and take it from there.” 

Crystalle finished first in her Aug. 4 debut, but was disqualified to third for drifting in the stretch, so her win Thursday was a maiden-breaker in addition to a stakes victory for her owners Tobey Morton and Chuck Hovitz. The former purchased her for $220,000 at the 2019 OBS Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training. 

Crystalle was bred by Glendalough out of the Flatter mare Undo, whose siblings include multiple graded winner Apart and stakes winner Unlatch.

Palace Malice is now up to nine winners from his first crop, second-most of any Freshman Sire. 

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