Princess of Sylmar powered clear to a dominant win in the Alabama Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. (Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
When the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly is handed out in January, Ed Stanco of King of Prussia Stables probably will look back at Princess of Sylmar’s victory in the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga Race Course as the title-clinching win.
Princess of Sylmar won both the Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks, the latter by six lengths, earlier in the season. With one, powerful sweeping rally in the Alabama, the Majestic Warrior filly earned her third Grade 1 win of the year and confirmed her place atop the division.
When Castellano gave Princess of Sylmar her cue on the final turn, she unleashed an explosive bid and swept past the three fillies she had been tracking within just a few Goosebumps-inducing strides.
“I just let her enjoy the trip and when she was ready to go I asked her, and she just took off,” Castellano said. “She went right by them. She’s an amazing horse.”
Once she took command entering the stretch, the only part of the outcome still in doubt was the margin of victory.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Princess of Sylmar won the Alabama by 2 ½ lengths lengths and completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:03.21 for her fifth win in six starts this year. She was bred in Pennsylvania by Stanco.
“Wasn’t that something, how she took off? But I have to ask Todd how she galloped out; that’s the most important thing,” Stanco said.
When asked about the possibility of cementing the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly, Stanco replied, “Let’s hope.”
The only blip on Princess of Sylmar’s record in 2013 was a runner-up finish to the very nice filly Close Hatches in the Gazelle Stakes in April. She won a pair of stakes in the winter at Aqueduct and rebounded from the Gazelle defeat with three straight Grade 1 victories.
“The Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks – that’s a pretty hard trifecta to win, so I’ll say she has definitely established herself as the champion 3-year-old filly, unless somebody does something [big].”
Princess of Sylmar is from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Majestic Warrior, a son of influential sire and 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy. Her dam (mother) is stakes-placed winner Storm Dixie, by Catienus.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
PRINCESS OF SYLMAR CRUISED TO VICTORY IN ALABAMA
Photo by Adam Coglianese/NYRA