A Pennsylvania Princess Wins Kentucky Oaks
Category : News
Thu 04/07/2013 - 14:25 EDT
Fans of Pennsylvania horse racing are still buzzing about the performance last month by Princess of Sylmar, the speedy state-bred filly who raced away from the best in her class to score a huge 38-1 upset in the Grade I $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks. It was the first graded-stakes victory of her career thus far, and came almost exactly six months after she broke her maiden at Penn National. She followed up that win with three straight victories at Aqueduct before a second-place finish in the Grade II Gazelle Stakes.
Princess dominates in her maiden win
A daughter of the Grade I winning Majestic Warrior, Princess of Sylmar was born at Sylmar Farm in Christiana, PA. . Owned by Ed Stanco’s King of Prussia Stables, the connections knew they had something special when she claimed that maiden try by 19 lengths. Reportedly a very easy horse to handle, her only quirk is that she is bothered by the sound of the starting gate – so the Todd Pletcher-trained filly now runs with cotton stuffed in her ears! It appears to be working, as she now holds a record of five wins in seven lifetime starts.
Oaks score all heart and determination
Despite her early display of talent, Princess of Sylmar went into the Oaks lightly regarded after female racing superstars such as Dreaming of Julia and Unlimited Budget. After getting bounced around coming out of the gate, jockey Mike Smith had her in striking position by the ¾ pole, sitting fourth. She raced four-wide around the final turn and then it was all heart, as she chased down the leaders and won it in the final yards, a half-length ahead of Beholder. She became the second Penn-bred to win the Oaks in the past three years, after Plum Pretty in 2011.
The Grade 2 $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby features the two biggest names from the Triple Crown trail September 24 at Parx as a field of 12 gathers in one of the most intriguing betting races of the year.
The $1 million Cotillion Stakes September 24 at Parx features a true clash of the titans as the six-horse field is headlined by the undefeated, five-time grade 1 winner Songbird who figures to face the most stern challenge of her career.
In a completely wide open renewal of the Presque Isle Mile September 18 at Presque Isle Downs, 13 runners including the also-eligible will contest the eight furlong trip over synthetic footing.
Champion Songbird is set to make her much-anticipated return to the races in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita on Saturday. The Grade 2 event will be run at a mile and a sixteenth and has attracted a field of seven.