Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Palace Malice is having a big impact on the Gulfstream Park Championship meet, with runners scoring on both dirt and turf during the second week of January.

On Jan. 14 the filly Crystalle, owned by Tobey Morton, won her 2021 debut in a marathon 1 7/16-mile turf allowance, the 4-year-old’s first start beyond 1 1/16-miles. Ridden very patiently by Joe Bravo, Crystalle was at the back of the field until she began to make up ground going into the final turn. She finished with a big flourish to win by a half-length.

Crystalle won the P. G. Johnson S. at two and also finished second in the Miss Grillo S. (G2) that same year. Off until September of her 3-year-old season, she is now 2-1-1 in 8 starts and has earned $139,200. Crystalle was bred by Glendalough LLC and sold for $220,000 at the 2019 OBS April 2-year-old sale.

One day later on Saturday, Nocturnal, a Cheyenne Stables homebred co-owned with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, turned in a very stylish-looking maiden special weight win on the main track.

The imposing bay colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, led all the way in the one-mile main track contest, setting a solid pace of 1:10.61 before drawing off in the stretch to win going away by nearly four lengths in 1:36.06 on a fast main track, earning an excellent 91 Beyer Speed Figure.

Nocturnal had made only one start prior to Friday’s win. That came nine months ago over this same track, when he finished second and earned a 93 Beyer while just a length behind Dr. Post. That colt would go on to win the Unbridled S. and finish second in the Belmont S. (G1) and third in the Haskell Inv. (G1).

Nocturnal was bred by Everett Dobson’s Candy Meadow Farm and is the first foal out of Only by the Night. She is a half-sister to three-time Grade 1 winner and millionaire Curalina, who was owned by Eclipse as well.

With seven winners is just the first two weeks of the year, Palace Malice ranks third on this year’s Third-Crop sire list. After breeding 207 mares last year, his largest book to date, Palace Malice is standing this year for $20,000 S&N.