The Princess Runs Royally in Alabama (Video)

The Princess Runs Royally in Alabama (Video)
Photo: Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire

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….

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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