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Princess of Sylmar Shows She Wants More

Princess of Sylmar & Ed
When your horse shows you she wants to run; you run her. It’s that simple for Princess of Sylmar’s owner, Ed Stanco, as hopes for one more historic win from his homebred filly in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

“It’s really out of my hands. The Princess is making the decision for us,” Stanco said by phone earlier this week.

Stanco, who campaigns Princess of Sylmar for King of Prussia Stable, has been remarkably consistent in his conservative approach following his filly’s last three Grade 1 victories. In so many words, his post race comments have been a wait and see approach relying heavily on trainer Todd Pletcher’s recommendation before deciding on the next race.

Of course, Stanco just about told the racing world the brakes were being applied after Princess of Sylmar dispatched the reining, two-time Champion Mare Royal Delta with a decisive two-length Beldame win. At the time, Stanco felt there would be nothing to prove with a Breeders’ Cup start. The head, the heart and the health of Princess of Sylmar was his greatest concern.

Stanco is clear that a Breeders’ Cup run is not a change of his heart or money grab. The chance at continuing a historic run that includes the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club of America Oaks and Alabama, preceding her Belmont success, well, that does hold an attraction.

“What are we really risking by running her in the Breeders’ Cup? And what if we sat home with the world’s best filly and watched it on TV, how would it feel? By the way the filly wants to run.”

Princess of Sylmar’s last three workouts following the Beldame have been measured, easy and impressive on her gallop out according to Stanco. And with eight wins on five different tracks, the Santa Anita surface shouldn’t be an impasse. A Monday, midnight text from Pletcher to Stacno told of a safe trip out west followed a few hours later by one reading that Princess of Sylmar took well to the track.

With all the trophies, year-to-date years earnings greater than $1.6 million and having beaten the three greatest Breeders Cup Distaff challengers in Royal Delta, Beholder and Close Hatches, Stanco is also markedly confident. It’s a bravado that fails to be arrogant, but is simply born from knowing his horse has got the goods to win among her division’s elite runners.

“It’s going to be a street fight,” Stanco says of the Distaff. With the incredible amount of speed up front, Stanco expects his filly to get a pace to run into. “We all know they’ll be going fast up front, and…those jockeys will all be wondering, ‘When is the Princess going to start running?’ Who knows, maybe she’ll take off early.”

In this Thoroughbred world of might-have-beens and what-ifs, Stanco has the real deal and he knows it. Ed, his partners, and their families have been on a magical, hardly believable, ride since the Kentucky Oaks victory back in May. All they’re hoping for is one more fairy tale finish, and who can blame them?


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Here is hoping the Princess has one more big one left!

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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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