02/02/2013 4:22PM

Aqueduct: Princess of Sylmar cruises in Busher

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Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar wins the Busher by seven lengths on Saturday. Next up: the Gazelle and then perhaps the Kentucky Oaks.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – While it remains to be seen if a true Kentucky Derby contender can emerge from Aqueduct in the winter, it certainly looks like a serious Kentucky Oaks player can.

Princess of Sylmar took another step toward the May 3 Kentucky Oaks with another dominating performance Saturday, taking the $100,000 Busher Stakes by seven lengths at Aqueduct.

Kelli Got Frosty finished second by a half-length over Let Me Entertain U. Kimono and Marcellina d’Oro completed the order of finish.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Majestic Warrior owned and bred by the King of Prussia Stables headed by Ed Stanco. Her four victories have come by a combined 38 3/4 lengths.

And as was the case in her previous two victories in New York, Princess of Sylmar did her best running at the end, gliding away from her rivals inside the final furlong while being shown the whip by jockey Javier Castellano.

“She’s got a long, beautiful stride, but at the same time you ask her, you get a quick reaction, and that’s exactly what she did,” said Castellano, who won with his first three mounts on Saturday’s card. “I moved a little bit early because I felt [the pace] was too slow, and she finished unbelievable.”

Castellano put Princess of Sylmar in the three to four path down the backside and kept her relatively close to a dawdling pace set by Kimono. Kelli Got Frosty chased the pace from second.

Kelli Got Frosty, under Cornelio Velasquez, took the lead midway on the turn, but Princess of Sylmar took over by the top of the stretch and came home an easy winner

Princess of Sylmar ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.52 and returned $2.50 to win as the 1-4 favorite.

“I thought that was indicative of the way she trained,” said Michael McCarthy, the New York-based assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “Javier had to use her a little bit and put her in position. Obviously, a half in [51.12 seconds] probably wasn’t ideal. Being much the best she was able to overcome that today.”

Princess of Sylmar, who earned 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks by winning the Busanda last month, will now point to the Grade 2, $250,000 Gazelle here on April 6 as a final prep for the Oaks. The Gazelle offers 170 qualifying points to the Oaks, with 100 going to the winner.

Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Wow, what a nice filly! She wasn't beating much today, but she's been quite impressive thus far. It would be great to have a filly from modest beginnings, and a PA-bred to boot, take the KY Oaks.