Princess of Sylmar made in four in a row as she pulled clear to a
seven-length victory in the $100,000 Busher while undefeated Cluster of
Stars earned her first stakes win with a hard-fought
decision over favored Nicole H in the $100,000 Correction Saturday
afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Princess of Sylmar,
whose average wining margin is better than 9 ½ lengths, ran third
through the early going as stablemate Kimono took the field of five
3-year-old fillies through a pokey opening quarter-mile
in 25.81 seconds and a half in 51.12. Moved into contention on the
backside by jockey Javier Castellano, the Majestic Warrior filly
barreled three-wide around into the turn to take over at the head of the
stretch, drawing clear under a hand ride and crossing
under the wire in 1:45.52 for 1 1/16 miles.
“She’s very amazing,”
said Castellano. “She has a long, beautiful stride, but at the same
time, when you ask her, she’s got a quick reaction. I moved kind of
early because I felt the pace was too slow, and she
finished unbelievable. I didn’t force her to go by the horse – I just
asked her a little bit and she took off. I think she’ll run all day.”
Sent off as the 1-4 favorite, Princess of Sylmar returned $2.50 for a $2 win bet and earned $60,000. Bred in
she broke her maiden at Penn National by 19 lengths at second asking,
and then won an optional claimer at the Big A in December before her 7
½-length victory in the Busanda on
Michael McCarthy said the next target for Princess of Sylmar would be
the Grade 2, $250,000 Gazelle at 1 1/8 miles on April 6.
“We think there is a
lot more ahead of her, so our plan – Todd and I talked about it – was
‘Let’s just take our time and let her move along and let her learn how
to run and be happy,” said winning owner Ed Stanco.
“And one day, she’ll be at a big race.”
Kelli Got Frosty was second, followed by Let Me Entertain U, Kimono, and Marcellina d’Oro.
One race earlier, the
lightly campaigned Cluster of Stars zipped to the front and led through a
quarter-mile in 23.08 and a half in 46.17 before being confronted on
the turn by Nicole H, who was undefeated in
five previous starts – all stakes – over the Big A’s inner track. The
two matched strides as they swept into the stretch, with the favorite
sticking her nose in front inside the eighth pole, but Cluster of Stars
fought back along the rail to prevail by a head
for her third victory in as many races.
“She fought all the
way,” said winning jockey Castellano. “She didn’t want to get beat
today, that’s for sure. She’s very competitive.”
Cluster of Stars, who
broke her maiden last February and returned after an 11-month absence to
post a 6 ¼-length optional claiming victory in January, ran six
furlongs in 1:09.66.
“It was impressive,”
said Toby Sheets, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “Nicole H
is an awesome filly, and our filly is very unseasoned; this is her
third career start. We’ve thought she was special
The 8-5 second choice, Cluster of Stars returned $5.40 for a $2 win bet. The 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of
Galaxy, who carries the colors of Turtle Bird Stable, nearly doubled
her bankroll to $121,200 with the winner’s purse of $60,000.
The 6-year-old Nicole
H, who was seeking a repeat win in the Correction, was eight lengths
clear of Singlet, with Crespano completing the order of finish. North
Freeway and Ode to Sami were scratched.