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HRN Original Blog:
Bada Bing Inc.

Princess of Sylmar's Cinderella Season Ends

Fairy tales end.

While Princess of Sylmar wasn’t called upon to evade a treacherous wolf or hungry witch, her magical winning spell evaporated with a last place finish in yesterday’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Unlike her four previous victorious Grade 1 efforts, in which she measured her competition and ran by with ease, jockey Javier Castellano, actually pulled out the whip on Princess of Sylmar at the top of the stretch when she had yet to make her patent winning move. It was to no avail.

The usually joyous jumping and whooping from Princess of Sylmar’s owners, King of Prussia Stable, was replaced with disbelief. Starting with a come-from-the-clouds finish in the Kentucky Oaks through an unusual dry and winning Saratoga season and finally dispatching a champion at Belmont, Princess of Sylmar’s script was remarkably consistent and happy – running from behind until her jockey asked her to go and finishing with a winner’s circle celebration,

Her Breeders’ Cup Distaff chances were gone in less than a New York minute when she took two side steps out of the gate and couldn’t regain her running rhythm according to trainer Todd Pletcher, standing on the Santa Anita track awaiting his filly’s return yesterday afternoon. Just after dismount Castello told both Pletcher and principal owner, Ed Stanco, besides Princess of Sylmar’s misstep he never felt the same power underneath him.  

For Stanco’s part he was just as gracious in losing as he was in winning. He offered no excuses. “That’s horse racing. We lost.” King of Prussia partner, Ciro Defalco, put it this way, “We weren’t afraid to lose. If that were the case, we would have stayed home.” 

One race too many, a hard, speed favoring track, by Friday afternoon Stanco, his family and all partners only concern was the health of their filly. Stanco reported that Princess of Sylmar will ship to WinStar Farm before getting a full medical checkup. She is expected to be back in training by January 1. 

Stanco for his part, kept his sense of humor intact. Following the Distaff he approached Dick Mandella, trainer of winner, Beholder, saying, “Dick, why don’t you bring Beholder to race on the dirt at Aqueduct in the Comely Stakes.” A polite jab at the rock-hard, much spoken about Santa Anita racing surface – one that favored California-based frontrunners like Goldencents and Beholder. 

The morning after the Distaff, Stanco answered any and all critics, saying Princess of Symlar’s loss jeopardized her Eclipse Award chances. “Champions don’t stay home.” 

Yes, fairy tales end, usually with something learned, something lost. Life goes on and Princess of Sylmar will back for a four-year season with prestigious races like the Delaware Handicap, Saratoga’s Personal Ensign and a repeat in the Beldame, a schedule where her next chapters of her story will be told.  


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Older Comments about Princess of Sylmar's Cinderella Season Ends...

Lol Mary
Looking forward to BC 2014 at SA!
You will have no argument from me regarding the BC being held at Santa Anita. I have no interest in seeing it there ever again in my lifetime.
The rider knew he held all the advantages, and had a fresh filly. So yes masterfull training job. Stating the same thing over and over is getting to repetitive on the matter of who is better, so I am done untill they race again. I just can't wait to see the blow up on who ever wins the eclipse. As for me, I hold my belief that POS is the better filly, at least until we see them race again on better terms. Sayonara to this subject.
Sullivan: By the same token that you can hold it against Princess for not taking to the SA track (and rightly so I might add), I can hold it against Beholder that she has won ONLY on the SA track whereas Princess of Sylmar has won her 4 grade ones over three tracks, and 2 others on a fourth. As I've said in another post, I am not going to slap a specific label on the SA track other than to note that it is different, and that the successful west coast thoroughbreds are successful on that surface because of they weren't, then they wouldn't be successful west coast thoroughbreds. I think Beholder's advantage over the Princess when it comes down to voting will be not that she has that second victory over the mares, but that Princess came in last in that race. If Princess has come in a close second, as Beholder did in the Oaks, then it wouldn't have mattered if that race was against the mares or the horses and colts or against a bunch of pack mules, because the others would not have factored into the final outcome. And if I were a voter, even though I would still call myself a Princess fan as I have been since her Oaks victory, I would vote for Beholder, despite my criticism that she has only won over the SA track. But I am still going to point out my objection to the BC being held there for what will likely be Beholder's entire racing career. If that is what it is going to be, then it should be considered by the media and the industry as just another series of Grade Ones at yet another track, the way you have Super Saturday at Belmont or a what you have throughout August at Saratoga, and not a "world championship".
I'm not making excuses for Beholder not running more, I would only make excuses if I felt she needed to run more... Who cares if Princess of Sylmar ran 4 races in 4 months? The horses she was facing were and are struggling in winning allowances! Close Hatches faced better competition than she did, and she even knocked the Princess off her pedestal, not once but twice! While the Princess may have had a better summer (seeing as Beholder wasn't even racing!), when the two were racing in the spring, Beholder's season far outweighs anything the Princess attempted to put together against nobodies going around the inner course at Aqueduct.
Beholder ran 7 times in 2013, only one less start than Princess of Sylmar. She won $300K more, had the same number of G1 wins, the highest Beyer between the two this year, won both her starts against older fillies and like POS, defeated the reigning older filly champ in Royal Delta, although much more decisively. A pretty good year IMO and maybe a masterful training job aimed at winning the most important dirt filly racer of the year, and once again, decisively.
4 G1s at a longer distance no less- Vrs. 1 G1 & a listed stake.
Excuses you want for Beholder not running more... But you can't tell me she didn't go into that race in far better shape than POS did, and it showed.
A three year old who ran 4 races in 4 months is more competive than a horse who was ran 2 times in the past 4 months , reguardless of the competition. At least in my book. Perhaps not in Sullivan land. Make all the excusu
Regardless of if you know what a speed bias is, you clearly do not know how to apply it. I've never, not once, claimed that I was superior to anyone else, it is not something I do. Rocks have no skin, you should find a better analogy. I know the Princess traveled and campaigned heavily, but it was not insanely competitive, no suree! She ran in two big races, the Oaks and the Beldame not counting the BCLC. In her other races she beat the same horses that Beholder beat in the SA Oaks or in the KY Oaks. Just because Beholder can't claim to have run such a difficult campaign does not mean that she is not capable of such a schedule! And let me remind you, this terrific campaign of the Princess was but one race longer than Beholder's! Both tacked up 4 G1 wins, the difference is that Beholder had two against older mares and the Princess, just one. Why should Beholder have shipped when she faced the same competition in the SA Oaks as Princess did in the Alabama? Beholder does not get the accolades she deserves as long as people attach her victory to the words "speed bias".
I know exactly what speed bias is, thanks much. Once again however you show that auguring with you is like arguing with an ant pile. You think you are something special, yet in the end all you are is a pile of rocks. Dense, and dull – where even the tiniest irritant gets under your skin. Princess of Sylmar is an incredibly talented filly, who has run an insanely competitive schedule, had very little rest, and traveled thousands of miles to a track that she had never run on. I would call those some pretty daunting hurdles – hurdles that beholder cannot even claim one of. Beholder is a very good horse, with an insane amount of talent, help all of the advantages and knew how to use them. She is getting all the accolades she deserves. Most people would be happy, rather than rude.
Belittling Beholder is giving the credit for her win to the speed bias. It is that simple.
And yet again you show no understanding of how the bias worked. As for her showing she could rate, she did the same thing in the Oaks. For her to win would not have demanded "Hurculean hurdles", it would've taken an outside run, some talent and a lead switch.
As for the "Princess of Sylmar broke from what again? The outside post? "- yup, she did where she consequentially stumbled, and lost even more ground, which for a track that was playing fast, was more of a detriment to her over-all run then the sand was.
Sitting 2-3 lengths (at max 4-5) off the lead is not overcoming the bias, it is playing to the bias. You claim that Beholder is constantly being down played, and that she overcame some insurmountable feat. In all honesty however she did exactly what everyone expected her to do. She sat in the front of the pack, albeit not the very front and stayed there. She did show that she can rate a little, which she had not shown in a while, but that is a trait most horses should have. So no, maybe people aren’t as excited about it as they might have been for a horse like the Princess who with her style would have had to overcome herculean hurdles. She didn’t and there is nothing we can do about that. Your horse won, be happy. There is no reason to constantly dawdle around posting offensive, asinine comments proclaiming that ever one is ‘belittling’ Beholder when in actuality no one is.
The issue was the kick back, the horses couldn't make up ground behind others so they had to go wide. Jocks complained all day that the ground stung, a few on air even. Princess of Sylmar broke from what again? The outside post?
Sullivan- Any horse up on the pace, stalking etc did very well on Dirt(ie..beholder) The deep closers were pretty much compromised. That is my cheap 2 cents on this matter. Look at the distaff/classic result. Both stalked the pace and won. Will Take Charge stalked also. Not taking anything away from the winners though.
Take a step back, tony, you haven't won yet. My comments do not contradict each other. Santa Anita, a dirt surface, is biased and always will be. My point was that Beholder over came the bias and the Princess's failure to do so is not fault of the bias but rather herself. I am assuming that I am to associate the words of ekindy with those of Ed Stanco... I have no doubt that Mr. Stanco recognizes Beholder's talent, what bothers me is that jab. Tony, I run medication free, unlike the Princess and just like Beholder last year. I think you could use some bute though, you're clearly hurting.
The Crane Brothers take >>FRASIER: You know the expression "living well is the best revenge"? NILES: It's a wonderful expression. I just don't know how true it is. You don't see it turning up in a lot of opera plots. "Ludwig, maddened by the poisoning of his entire family, wreaks vengeance on Gunther in the third act by living well." :)

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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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