While the Princess of Sylmar has lived up to her royal name and just may have staked her claim to this year's Three Year Old Filly Eclipse Award, yes even with four months left in the racing season, the real story revolves around general partner, Edward Stanco.
Following her dramatic, close-from-the-clouds, Kentucky Oaks victory at an improbable 38-1, Stanco has adamantly stated for anyone who would listen that his filly did not have to do an other thing. While that's all well and good, the Princess has done everything, by dominating two Grade 1 races at Saratoga Race Course, as the historic track celebrates 150 years. First in the Coaching Club American Oaks, at what now seems like reasonable odds of 2-1 and then this past weekend as the homebred filly turned the Alabama Stakes stretch into her red carpet ride into royalty for a paltry 1-2 price. Don't worry she ran like it!
Stanco, a fan of racing at home in Saratoga's back yard, Aqueduct's frozen tundra, or venues like Delaware Park, has struck upon the greatest of luck in his filly - the first he ever bred. And he knows it. Admitting that he studied the races a good five years before forming his first partnership, Stanco had to make the impulsive decision to breed his former race mare, Storm Dixie, to a stallion other than planned upon Grand Slam. With only 15 minutes to make a decision on breeding Storm Dixie to Majestic Warrior, he gave a thumbs up and the die had been set.
Having come to the winner's circle with maiden claimers and state-bred winners, Stanco is a refreshingly honest, passionate and doting owner. He has assembled partnerships with folks like himself, family-people far from the blue-blood streets of aristocracy, who invite everyone they can to the track. This has meant winner's circle photos with crowds numbering over a 100 that stretch the track photographers lens and patience. No matter, each and every person there is happy for "their" horse whether they own a share or not and happy for Ed Stanco. If you get to know him, you'd find it hard not to be….