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.
Princess Not Likely Going to BC Ladies
Despite punching her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Ladies Classic with a decisive win the Beldame Stakes on Saturday, it appears Pennsylvania-bred superstar Princess of Sylmar will be skipping the Breeders’ Cup. Both before, and now after the Beldame, her ownership had stated they will likely not run the BC, and instead give their filly the opportunity to rest up for a full 2014 campaign. Even though the Beldame win gave Princess of Sylmar fees-paid entry to the Ladies Classic, she would still have to be supplemented for $100,000.
Filly needs time off after some tough racing
Although race fans would love to see a rematch in the Ladies Classic between Princess of Sylmar and Royal Delta, the reasoning behind the decision is sound. The filly has had a tough 2013 campaign, and has met all challenges, winning four straight Grade I events, including the Kentucky Oaks, and now the Beldame, where she faced older mares for the first time. She also proved she can win going 1 ¼ miles, as she did in the Alabama Stakes, and put up six wins and a second in seven starts.
Catches Royal Delta in the lane and cruises home
The 1 1/8 miles Beldame at Belmont Park was all about the expected match-up between the older Royal Delta, the two-time defending Ladies Classic champ, and the speedy newcomer in Princess of Sylmar. Royal Delta went off as the 1-5 favorite, and moved to the front against longshot Roman Invader to half-way on the far turn. As she made her move at the top of the stretch, Princess of Sylmar (2-1) moved right with her, and the two were heads apart coming for home. From there Princess of Sylmar simply wore Royal Delta down, and finished a clear two-lengths in front.
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.