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Bada Bing Inc.

Phipps Promising for Princess of Sylmar


It will be almost seven months to the day – make that the day after the Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Distaff - that Ed Stanco, Managing Partner of King of Prussia Stables and breeder of his fabulous filly, Princess of Sylmar, shared his California nightmare with me.


“You know I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning, staring at the ceiling, thinking about the Distaff and you know what …” Stanco said that day after with the same picture-perfect mountain backdrop while we sat at the Great Race Place. His pause was long. I was expecting the finish to be “…I’m OK with it.”


After all Stanco’s fairytale season watching his Princess take down four historic Grade I races in a row (Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club of America Oaks, Alabama and Beldame) was filled with such spontaneous joy at each winning turn. Stanco, his partners and their extended family members overflowed, strike that, took over, each winner’s circle celebration with calls of “Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die!”


Their enthusiasm was Stanco’s. On top of it all, he’d been so grateful, gracious and generous with his new found breeding and racing success that I was sure the bright side still remained on that November day. But Stanco’s finish was unabashedly realistic, as realistic as his filly’s shocking loss the day prior. “…and you know what…it still sucks.”


While the Belmont Stakes will rightly grab all the attention on Saturday with California Chrome’s shot a history, the second-most anticipated race will likely be the Ogden Phipps. The seventh race on the card will bring together Stanco’s Princess of Sylmar, Spendthrift Farm’s two-time Eclipse Champion, Beholder and international powerhouse stable, Juddmonte’s Close Hatches, runner up in the Distaff and already a two-time stakes winner this year. Their combined earnings are $7 million with 11 Grade I wins among them. A championship season may well be defined for the Phipps winner.


For his part, Stanco is still grateful. Grateful his filly came back from a five-month layoff to win a Cat Cay Stakes with ease. Grateful for the sportsmanship of Spendthrift’s Wayne Hughes, who was willing to ship his Beholder cross country, when it would have been easier to stay home. Grateful that Bill Mott pointed his almost $2 million earner, Close Hatches, to the Phipps, making it a dream race.


“You know, I want all the fillies to run their A-race,” Stanco said. “Now that would be fun and an incredible race to win.”


The pieces are in place for something special. Beholder, like Princess of Sylmar, defeated a field of overmatched fillies in her return, while Close Hatches took Oaklawn’s Grade II Azeri and Garde I Apple Blossom Stakes against two small fields.


Close Hatches likely will start quick and try to squirt away. Beholder is likely to race off Close Hathches’ flank waiting to make her own devastating move. Princess Sylmar with a big closing kick will likely be the last to move for home. There’s the potential for a nose-separating, head-bobbing finish with some wonderful race call from Tom Durkin.


Stanco will be ready. “It’s going to be great!”




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Older Comments about Phipps Promising for Princess of Sylmar...

Let's go Princess!
I am too.
I like her today, but if the track is friendly to early speed, she'll have her work cut out for her.
I'm feeling a Princess win today, Tony Bada Bing!

Tony Bada Bing began his lifelong quest of finding winners more than 35 years ago as a fifth grade student. This is when his grandfather first took him to the many Off Track Betting facilities sprinkled throughout Long Island, NY. While many kids his age were clamoring to hit the beach or an amusement park during summer vacation, Bada Bing was spending it in stuffy, smoked-filled rooms filled with retirees and reprobates listening to Marshall Cassidy on tape delay calling Saratoga.

This passion was further lit by his father, who took Bada Bing to East Boston's Suffolk Downs, only after Bada Bing learned to read the Racing Form. For most of his young adult life a summer rotation of NY OTB, Suffolk, and the now shuddered Rockingham Park in Salem, NH filled his betting days. 

Notable winners along the way: Willow Hour's and Runaway Groom's Travers wins as well as Derby winners Grindstone, Thunder Gulch (which he called in print the day before) and Super Saver. His latest quest is to hit the Kentucky Derby superfecta.

Bada Bing plays tournaments at Derby Wars, bets through several account wagering sites and has blogged about Thoroughbred racing for the past four years. He prefers the bigger meets of NYRA and California as well as seasonal meets of Gulfstream, Churchill and Oaklawn. He likes vertical, multirace wagers like Pick 4s.

He has produced several Horse Racing Nation videos, in addition to blogging. He can be found at Twitter @tonycbadabing. While away from the track Bada Bing enjoys time with his wife, who tolerates and supports his passion, and his two children.


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