Stanco chose Todd Pletcher to train his prize filly. What a choice! That made all the difference in the world.Todd treated the Princess with due respect and with the hands that handled the gentlest and the meanest of thoroughbreds.
“One thing about Todd, he gives just as much attention to a smaller owner’s horses as he does the bigger-name horses,” Stanco said. “We actually planned her campaign starting with her allowance win in December. It was decided to go easy with her and let her grow. She won the Busanda (by 7 1/2 lengths) pushing through a wall of horses on her own. Then after she won the Busher (by seven lengths), people started saying the inner track horses aren’t that good. When Close Hatches beat her in the Gazelle, it was tough race, but probably was the best experience of her entire campaign, because we learned more from that race, that she wanted to come from behind and give that one kick.” -Stanco
When they finally figured out that Princess of Sylmar was a closer, her career took off, beginning with the Oaks…the Kentucky Oaks. Sent off at 38-1, Princess was getting no respect. After two grade two races, she was facing grade one winning fillies and the deepest Oaks field the race has ever seen.
Beholder - Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Santa Anita Oaks winner
Dreaming of Julia -Gulfstream Park Oaks winner
Unlimited Budget - Fair Grounds Oaks and Rachel Alexandra winner
Seaneen Girl -Monmouth Oaks winner
Midnight Lucky - Acorn winner
Pure Fun - Hollywood Starlet winner
Close Hatches - Gazelle Winner
Rose to Gold - Honeybee and Fantasy winner
Silsita -Bourbonette Winner
Princess of Sylmar likes to prove those wrong who think lowly of her. There aren’t many of those people left out there, but she keeps amazing her viewers and we all (myself included) love the Princess and want to keep her running and winning at this level for a while longer. A friend of mine named Averie, made news by just being a fan. Averie even proved me wrong when she chose the Princess to win the Oaks. I chose Rose to Gold. I just picked the wrong longshot.
The Princess has 3-year old filly Eclipse Award nailed down; and in my opinion, Horse of the Year should be hers as well!
~Written by Casey Laughter