Princess of Sylmar

Princess of Sylmar (foaled 27 March 2010) is an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. In 2013 she appeared to have established herself as the leading American filly of her generation with Grade I wins in the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama Stakes.

Princess of Sylmar
Princess of Sylmar.jpg
Princess of Sylmar in the walking ring for the 2014 Ogden Phipps
SireMajestic Warrior
GrandsireA P Indy
DamStorm Dixie
Foaled27 March 2010[1]
CountryUnited States
BreederEd Stanco
OwnerKing of Prussia Stable
TrainerTodd Pletcher
Record14: 9-3-0
Major wins
Busanda Stakes 2013
Busher Stakes (2013)
Kentucky Oaks (2013)
Coaching Club American Oaks (2013)
Alabama Stakes (2013)
Beldame Stakes (2013)


Princess of Sylmar is a chestnut filly with a narrow white blaze bred in Pennsylvania by Ed Stanco. She is from the first crop of foals sired by Majestic Warrior, a son of A P Indy whose biggest win came in the 2007 Hopeful Stakes. He stood in 2012 at the Ashford Stud in Kentucky at a fee of $12,000.[2] Princess of Sylmar is the first foal of her dam Storm Dixie, who won one minor race in ten starts. The filly is named after the Sylmar Farm in Christiana, Pennsylvania, where she was foaled: the farm's name came from the fact that its owner had previously operated from a street which was on the border of PennSYLvania and MARyland.[3] Princess of Sylmar raced in the colors of Ed Stanco's King of Prussia Stable and was trained by Todd Pletcher.

Racing careerEdit

2012: two-year-old seasonEdit

Princess of Sylmar began her racing career at Penn National Race Course in the autumn of 2012. On October 12 she finished fourth in a maiden race over five and a half furlongs before being moved up in distance for another maiden race on November 8. Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, she drew clear of her opponents in the straight to win easily by nineteen lengths.[4] In December she moved to Aqueduct Race Track and was ridden by Rajiv Maragh in an allowance race which she won by five lengths, conceding weight to her four rivals.[5]

2013: three-year-old seasonEdit

Princess of Sylmar remained at Aqueduct in the early part of 2013. On January 5, she started 19/20 favorite for the Busanda Stakes in which she was ridden by Christopher DeCarlo. She tracked the leaders before taking the lead in the straight and drawing away to win by seven and a half lengths from the subsequently disqualified Ruby Lips.[6] A month later she started the 1:4 favorite for the Busher Stakes. Ridden by Javier Castellano, she took the lead on the final turn and won very easily by seven lengths from Kelli Got Frosty.[7] In April Princess of Sylmar was moved up in class to contest the Gazelle Stakes in which she was matched against the previously undefeated filly Close Hatches. Castellano moved Princess of Sylmar up to challenge Close Hatches just after half way and the fillies raced side by side until the straight, when Close Hatches pulled away to win by three and a quarter lengths.

On 3 May, Princess of Sylmar started a 39:1 outsider for the Kentucky Oaks over nine furlongs at Churchill Downs. Her opponents included Close Hatches, Beholder (winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies) and Dreaming of Julia, who had won the Gulfstream Oaks by more than twenty lengths. Ridden by the veteran Mike Smith, Princess of Sylmar was hampered shortly after the start and was not among the early leaders, but made steady progress to turn into the straight in fourth place. Switched to the outside, she produced a strong late run to overtake Beholder 60 yards from the finish and win by half a length.[8] After the race Pletcher said that he was "pleasantly surprised with her effort and her win. She's a good filly; we knew that all along."[9]

On July 20, Princess of Sylmar, ridden by Castellano, started at odds of 43/20 for the Coaching Club American Oaks over nine furlongs at Saratoga Race Course. The favorite was Unlimited Budget, also trained by Pletcher, who had finished third in the Kentucky Oaks before running sixth behind Palace Malice in the Belmont Stakes. Princess of Sylmar was restrained at the back of the field before moving up on the outside on the turn into the straight. She went clear of the field and won by six lengths from My Happy Face, with Unlimited Budget finishing last of the five runners.[10] Pletcher felt that the filly had not been given credit for her previous win saying: "I think everyone kind of lost sight of the fact that going into the Kentucky Oaks, it was billed as the best Oaks we've seen in 25 years; this filly wins it and gets virtually no respect. I think today she put herself at the top of the leader board, and now everyone understands that the Kentucky Oaks was a real race."[11]

At the same track four weeks later, Princess of Sylmar was matched against the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes winner Fiftyshadesofhay in Saratoga's Alabama Stakes. As in her previous start, the filly, under Castellano, tracked the leaders before taking the lead on the far turn. She went clear in the straight and won comfortably by two and a half lengths from Fiftyshadesofhay.[12] With this win, she completed two of the three races that constitute the reconfigured American Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing. Commenting on the winner's performance, Castellano said; "She's an amazing horse. Everything we've asked, she has responded so well so far". Pletcher declined to commit the filly to any future targets after Stanco suggested that she might not race again in 2013. Princess of Sylmar's win was regarded as having confirmed her status as the year's outstanding three-year-old filly in North America.[13] Nonetheless, on September 28, Princess of Sylmar teamed again with Castellano for the Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park in which she was matched against older fillies and mares including Royal Delta. Princess of Sylmar moved alongside Royal Delta at the top of the stretch before drawing away to win by two lengths.

On October 19, 2013, in spite of earlier denials, her connections changed their minds about running her in additional races and confirmed that she would ship west to compete in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.[14] The race attracted a very strong field including Royal Delta, Beholder and Close Hatches: Princess of Sylmar, ridden by Castellano, was made the 13/5 second favorite. She failed to reproduce her earlier form and was beaten before the turn into the straight, finishing last of the six runners, with Beholder winning the race.

2014: four-year-old seasonEdit

Princess of Sylmar at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton auction.

Princess of Sylmar began her third season in the Cat Cay Stakes over a mile at Aqueduct in April. She started the 3/5 favorite against four opponents and won by three and a half lengths from Wedding Toast. The filly was then off the course for two months before returning in Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont on June 7 in which she was matched against Beholder and Close Hatches. She was held up by Castellano in the early stages before moving forward on the final turn when she was forced to the outside. She made strong progress in the closing stages but failed by a head to run down Close Hatches.[15] A month later, Princess of Sylmar started 1/5 favourite for the Delaware Handicap but was unable to catch the front-running Belle Gallantey and finished second, beaten two and three quarter lengths.

After a fifth-place finish in the Personal Ensign Stakes in August, 2014, Princess of Sylmar developed a case of the "thumps", an irregular spasming of the diaphragm,[16] usually caused by abnormal electrolyte imbalance,[17] and the decision was made to retire her.[18] She was offered as a broodmare prospect at the Fasig-Tipton November sale in Lexington, Kentucky and was sold for $3.1 million to Shadai Farm in Japan.[19] She had a filly by Deep Impact in 2016 and a colt by the same sire in 2017.


Pedigree of Princess of Sylmar, chestnut mare, 2010[1]
Majestic Warrior (USA)
A P Indy (USA)
Seattle Slew Bold Reasoning
My Charmer
Weekend Surprise Secretariat
Lassie Dear
Dream Supreme (USA)
Seeking the Gold Mr Prospector
Con Game
Spinning Round Dixieland Band
Take Heart
Storm Dixie (USA)
Catienus (USA)
Storm Cat Storm Bird
Diamond City Mr Prospector
Honey's Flag
Golden Wave Band (USA)
Dixieland Band Northern Dancer
Mississippi Mud
Wind Talker Drone
Chic Chuck (Family:22-d)[20]
  • Princess of Sylmar is inbred 3 x 4 to Dixieland Band, meaning that this stallion appears in both the third and fourth generations of her pedigree. She is also inbred 4 x 4 to Mr Prospector.


  1. ^ a b "Princess of Sylmar pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  2. ^ "Majestic Warrior Stud Record". 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  3. ^ Steve Haskin (August 13, 2013). "The Princess of Sylmar Story". Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  4. ^ "Maiden Special Weight result". equibase. November 8, 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  5. ^ "Allowance Optional Claiming result". equibase. December 13, 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  6. ^ "Busanda Stakes result". equibase. January 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  7. ^ "Busher Stakes result". equibase. February 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  8. ^ "Kentucky Oaks result". Racing Post. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  9. ^ Hammonds, Evan (May 4, 2013). "Princess of Sylmar Becomes Oaks Royalty". Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  10. ^ "CCA Oaks result". Racing Post. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  11. ^ Shinar, Jack (July 20, 2013). "Princess of Sylmar Rules in CCA Oaks". Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  12. ^ "Alabama Stakes result". Racing Post. August 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  13. ^ Shinar, Jack (August 17, 2013). "Princess of Sylmar Crowned Queen of Alabama". Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  14. ^ "Distaff: Princess Is Packing Her Bags For California". October 19, 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  15. ^ "Ogden Phipps Stakes result". Racing Post. June 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  16. ^ LaMarra, Tom (19 September 2014). "Top Filly Princess of Sylmar Retired". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  17. ^ University of Illinois College of Agriculture (August 5, 2008). "Equine 'Thumps' Are More than Mere Hiccups". The Horse. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  18. ^ Grening, David (September 19, 2014). "Princess of Sylmar retired at 4". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  19. ^ Hughes, Alicia Wincze (November 3, 2014). "Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar draws top bid at Fasig-Tipton auction". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  20. ^ "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Grand Duchess - Family 22-d". Retrieved 2013-08-31.