Owner Ed Stanco says he is "expecting and hoping" Princess of Sylmar will run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) following the top 3-year-old filly's half-mile breeze in :49 3/5 over the Belmont Park training track Oct. 12.
Stanco and trainer Todd Pletcher were leaning toward giving Princess of Sylmar the rest of the year off after a tough campaign culminating with her sharp two-length win over two-time champion Royal Delta in the Beldame Invitational (gr. I) Sept. 28 at Belmont.
"I'm expecting and hoping we go, but Todd said we should wait until her next work a week from today before making a decision," Stanco said. "She worked well today and I loved the way she galloped out. Every indication is that she came out fine and she's happy. I was all set to go back to my office and write a quick memo to the media telling them what we were going to do. After the work, I asked Todd what he thought and he said we should wait a week.
"Before the Alabama (gr. I), we said this would be her last race. But then she knocked off the champ (Royal Delta) in the Beldame and the race didn't take a thing out of her," the owner added. "She's going through a growth spurt now and I don't want to squeeze the lemon dry or push her over the edge. I just want to make sure she can come back next year. But she just keeps bouncing back looking for more.
The $2 million Distaff is Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
"I know it's a tough decision, but it's a good one to have to make. I'm sure I'll start getting a case of the 'ifs.' Do we really want to do this? But we're just going to take it one day at a time. Now, I just have to explain to my wife that we're going to wait another week."
Stanco said he realizes what is at stake regarding year-end honors by running Princess of Sylmar against Beholder, Royal Delta, and Close Hatches in the Distaff. But he reiterated that he only wants to do what's best for the filly and will let her tell him and Pletcher what they should do.
Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Majestic Warrior out of the Catienus mare Storm Dixie, is the first filly to win the grade I Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama, and Beldame in a single year. She has won eight of 10 starts in her career while earning more than $1.6 million.