01/03/2013 4:01PM

Aqueduct: Princess of Sylmar after third straight in Busanda


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – In trying to split up his plethora of young horses, it was an easy decision for trainer Todd Pletcher to send Princess of Sylmar to Penn National, where she could meet softer company while earning added money for being a Pennsylvania-bred.

After winning a maiden race by 19 lengths in her second start, it was just as easy a decision for Pletcher to return Princess of Sylmar to New York to run for richer purses, even if it meant facing tougher competition.

After winning a first-level allowance race over Aqueduct’s inner track by 5 1/4 lengths Dec. 13, Princess of Sylmar will seek to become a stakes winner when she heads a field of six 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday’s $100,000 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct.

In the Busanda, run at a mile and 70 yards, Princess of Sylmar will face five rivals, including Coconut Shrimp, who will be making her dirt debut after racing five times on turf.

Princess of Sylmar, a daughter of Majestic Warrior, is 2 for 2 around two turns with her maiden win at Penn National and a first-level allowance score over stablemate – and race favorite Kimono – over the inner track.

“I thought they both had an equal chance going in; the thing about Kimono is even though she’s by Bernardini, she may not want to run two turns,” Pletcher said. “The way the race unfolded, she looked like going to the eighth pole she got a little tired whereas Princess of Sylmar was just getting revved up.”

Rajiv Maragh was named to ride Princess of Sylmar, but he is sidelined with a back injury. As of Thursday, Pletcher had not yet decided on a replacement.

Pletcher said he is likely to run Coconut Shrimp in the race, giving that filly her first opportunity on dirt. Ramon Dominguez is named on her.

After racing greenly while third in her debut, Asiya came back with an 11-length maiden score in the slop Dec. 9 over Aqueduct’s outer track. Saturday, she is stretching out to a mile and 70 yards.

“We think she will like two turns,” said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Asiya for Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stable. “It’s a big step going from just breaking a maiden to a stakes, but we think she belongs.”

By Golly Molly, listed at 12-1 on the morning line, comes out of a third-place finish to Pure Fun, who won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in her subsequent start.

“Our filly is an improving filly, she’s been wanting to go two turns and hasn’t had that opportunity yet,” trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “I think she’s going to be better two turns.”

Kiss the Lady is stretching out off a maiden win at six furlongs, but has the pedigree to suggest she can run long. Ruby Lips was third behind My Happy Face in the Grade 3 Tempted on Nov. 4.