May 10, 2013
Princess of Sylmar posts Kentucky Oaks upset
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Longshot Princess of Sylmar, trained by Todd Pletcher, ran down champion filly Beholder to capture Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race is the companion event to the Kentucky Derby.
Princess of Sylmar, one of four in the race from the Pletcher stable, went off at 38-1 in the 10-horse field. Stablemate Dreaming of Julia was the 3-2 favorite and Beholder was 9-1. The other horses trained by Pletcher were Silsita and Unlimited Budget.
Setting the pace, with nearly 114,000 in attendance, was Midnight Lucky with Beholder right behind in second. Dreaming of Julia, ridden by John Velazquez, was racing in the back of the field.
Coming off the final turn, Beholder took the lead from Midnight Lucky as Dreaming of Julia moved into fifth. As the field entered the stretch, Beholder and jockey Garrett Gomez had a clear lead and appeared to be headed to victory.
At the top of the stretch, Princess of Sylmar, with Mike Smith riding, began to make a big move from the outside. Dreaming of Julia was also making a rally down the middle of the track.
Princess of Sylmar, bred in Pennsylvania, caught Beholder nearing the wire and registered a half-length victory over the champion filly.
Finishing third was Unlimited Budget followed by Dreaming of Julia, Midnight Lucky, Pure Fun, Close Hatches, Rose to Gold, Seaneen Girl and Silsita. Flashy Gray had been scratched with a bruised right front foot.
The time for the 139th Kentucky Oaks was 1:49.17 on a fast track.
"She really handled the track well,' said Smith. "And I knew that if I just bided my time that they'd be coming back a bit. She pulled it off."
Owned by King of Prussia Stable, Princess of Sylmar recorded her fifth win in seven career starts. The Oaks victory was worth $589,000 to bring her earnings to $827,220.
"We're pleasantly surprised," Pletcher said. "We knew the filly had a lot of talent."
It marked Pletcher's third Oaks victory to go along with Ashado (2004) and Rags to Riches (2007). Smith, riding the filly for the first time, also notched his first win in the race.
Princess of Sylmar won her first stakes in January with the Busanda at Aqueduct. She followed by winning the Busher at the New York track and was coming off a second to Close Hatches at Aqueduct in the Gazelle.
Princess of Sylmar returned $79.60, $29.40 and $14.00. Beholder paid $9.00 and $5.60, and Unlimited Budget paid $3.80 to show.
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