The sophomore filly, whose average wining margin is better than 9 1/2 lengths, ran third through the early going as stablemate Kimono took the field of five 3-year-olds through a pokey opening quarter-mile in :25.81 seconds and a half in :51.12. Moved into contention on the backside by jockey Javier Castellano, the daughter of Majestic Warrior barreled three-wide around into the turn to take over at the head of the stretch, drawing clear under a hand ride and crossing under the wire in 1:45.52 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast track.
"She's very amazing," said Castellano. "She has a long, beautiful stride, but at the same time, when you ask her, she's got a quick reaction. I moved kind of early because I felt the pace was too slow, and she finished unbelievable. I didn't force her to go by the horse—I just asked her a little bit and she took off. I think she'll run all day."
Sent off the 1-4 favorite, Princess of Sylmar returned $2.50 for a $2 win bet and earned $60,000 to improve her record to four wins from five starts with earnings of $188,220 for owner Ed Stanco's King of Prussia Stable. Bred in Pennsylvania by Stanco out of the Catienus mare Storm Dixie, she broke her maiden at Penn National by 19 lengths at second asking. she won an optional claimer at the "Big A" in December before a 7 1/2-length victory in the Jan. 5 Busanda Stakes.
Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said the next target for Princess of Sylmar would be the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. II) going 1 1/8 miles April 6.
"We think there is a lot more ahead of her, so our plan—Todd and I talked about it—was 'Let's just take our time and let her move along and let her learn how to run and be happy," Stanco said. "And one day, she'll be at a big race."