The Princess and the Cup sounds like the title of a fairy tale. Go back several months, back to Aqueduct Race Track on April 6th,
when Princess of Sylmar finished second
in the Gazelle Handicap to Close Hatches.
The thought that Princess of Sylmar would be the third ranked horse in
thoroughbred racing [according to the Oct. 6 NTRA poll] could only have been
However here we are in October, a mere three weeks or so from the
Breeders’ Cup, and Princess of Sylmar has won four grade one stakes in a row.
With wins in the Kentucky Oaks, the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Alabama,
and most recently the victory over Royal Delta in the Beldame, Princess of Sylmar has become the top distaff runner
in the country. For that matter, she is the only horse in the country that
currently has that kind of record.
The question that remains is whether the fairly tale will play out? Will we see Princess of Sylmar in the
Breeders’ Cup? Princess of Sylmar is not nominated to the World Championships
at Santa Anita, but she could be supplemented. As part of her victory in the
“Win and You’re In” Beldame, she received $10,000 and paid shipping expenses to
California. Thus, the supplemental fee would be down from the $100,000 to
$90,000. Those payments are due by October 21st.
Earlier in the year a trip to the Breeders’ Cup was definitely not in
the plans for Princess of Sylmar, but beating Royal Delta in the Beldame
probably was not either.
Add in a loss by Wise Dan on
the rain saturated artificial surface at Keeneland and suddenly Princess of
Sylmar seems to be second in line to a Horse of the Year title. Some people
feel that Game On Dude still has
something to prove in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. If the Dude should lose at
Santa Anita is there a chance that the Princess could be Horse of the Year?
Most of the comments that I have seen since the Beldame have come from
outside the connections of the Princess and they have been saying that she is
not going to the Cup. I, however, am not so sure. Immediately after the Beldame,
trainer Todd Pletcher had not ruled
out a trip to the west,"I don't think
that's a question we can answer right now.”
Don’t be surprised if the story continues and we do get to see Princess
of Sylmar in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup.