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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

38-1 Princess of Sylmar wins the Kentucky Oaks for Pletcher

The 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks featured one of the strongest fields in history, and that field included four horses from the Todd Pletcher barn. Dreaming of Julia went off as the 3-2 post time favorite and Unlimited Budget was a 4-1 third choice. Uncharacteristically Pletcher had two longshots in the field with Princess of Sylmar at 38-1 and Salista at 48-1.
Thus, a Pletcher victory was not a surprise.  The surprise came when Princess of Sylmar came from far back and passed last year’s champion two-year filly, Beholder, in the stretch to give Pletcher his third career win in the Oaks.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith got the mount in the race at the last minute.  Amazingly Smith had never won the Oaks and he was thrilled, “I’ve never come close to the Oaks and I’ve always wanted to win this race so bad. I just thank Todd for putting her in at the last minute and asking me to ride her.”
Smith talked about his trip on the filly who had won four of her six previous starts, “We got squeezed pretty hard at the start, but she really handled the track well. She pulled it off, my first Kentucky Oaks. She’s not very big, but she has a big heart. Once I showed her to the outside, she was gone.”
Pletcher, who had won the Oaks in 2004 with Ashado and in 2007 with Rags to Riches said, “We are pleasantly surprised. We knew the filly had a lot of talent. She is a filly that wants to take back and make one run and we were able to execute that today.”
The big favorite Dreaming of Julia had a disastrous trip. “I think she lost all chance when she got creamed at the start. She got shuffled way back and she tried to make progress up the inside down the backside. She got stopped at the three-eighths poll.” Pletcher added that, “She ran a very courageous race to finish fourth. It’s just a shame to loss it at the break.”
Winner Princess of Sylmar paid $79.60 to win for the bettors in the second largest crowd in Oaks history and the owners at King of Prussia Stable got $600,000 as their share of the $1,000,000 purse. 


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Older Comments about 38-1 Princess of Sylmar wins the Kentucky Oaks for Pletcher...

A nice look back at live longshot, Matt, should be a great Distaff! >> who ya got, .toni.?
***mike smith by speryence...best jockey.."ruhs final"...dreming of julia two..."owners king of prussia stable"...is best princess..toni arias von hohenzollern "cuadra arias".is normal... vedi derby..oxbow. baffert & flashback work.
Smith is on fire with winning big purse races, would not be surprised to see him do well Derby Day
97 BSF for the Princess!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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