Updated on 09/30/2013 12:00AM

Beldame: Princess of Sylmar upsets Royal Delta

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Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar and Javier Castellano go past two-time champion Royal Delta en route to victory in the Grade 1 Beldame on Saturday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – The princess has morphed into a queen.

In a finish more surprising for its ease than its result, the 3-year-old Princess of Sylmar glided past two-time champion Royal Delta in midstretch to win Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Invitational by two lengths at Belmont Park. It was 6 3/4 lengths farther back to Centring in third.

In becoming the first 3-year-old filly to win the Beldame since 2002 – seven 3-year-olds had since tried and failed – Princess of Sylmar won her fourth consecutive Grade 1 race. The win should end any discussion of who will be the champion 3-year-old filly, as Princess of Sylmar also won the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama.

The victory will, however, stir discussion on whether Princess of Sylmar will be supplemented to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Santa Anita.

Even though Princess of Sylmar will get her entry fees to the Distaff paid due to the Beldame being a Win and You’re In race, owner Ed Stanco would still have to pay a $100,000 fee to supplement to the Breeders’ Cup. Stanco had previously said he didn’t want to run in the Breeders’ Cup, and it seemed like he still felt that way after Saturday’s race.

“I really don’t want to stress her; we really don’t want to do that. There are a lot of factors into it,” said Stanco, who does plan to run Princess of Sylmar next year. “I don’t want her to be unhappy. I don’t want her to come back weak next year. We’re going to have to see how she comes out of it. That’ll be the issue.”

Meanwhile, Royal Delta, who has won the last two runnings of the Distaff, most likely will be aimed at a three-peat in that race, according to what her owner, Benjamin Leon, told TVG before the race.

Royal Delta, who had won the Beldame last year after finishing second in it as a 3-year-old, had taken the lead from Roman Invader midway around the turn Saturday after six furlongs in 1:10.53. But she didn’t spurt away under Mike Smith, and Princess of Sylmar, who was much closer to the pace than expected under Javier Castellano, was in striking distance turning for home without being hard-used.

“My filly did it so easy,” Castellano said. “She made me feel like we were in slow motion.”

Princess of Sylmar struck the front in midstretch and edged clear with every stride. She covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.93 and returned $6.20 as the second choice.

“She kept tracking that filly, Royal Delta, all the way,” Castellano said. “Turning for home, I didn’t see Royal Delta take off. My filly just grabbed me, and I let her go, and she opened up. She did it the right way. I’m very satisfied. She’s an amazing filly.”

Smith said Royal Delta stumbled a little bit at the start but picked herself up quickly. He offered no excuse for her being overtaken in the stretch.

“The winner ran a great race, and we didn’t run our best,” Smith said. “The winner ran awesome. I had every chance. From the quarter pole to the wire, we were heads up, and she outstrided me.”

Saratogafan More than 1 year ago
Stanco appears to be a thoughtful owner. Anyone who believes he's ducking by not sending the filly cross country is wrong. If he was ducking anyone, it would have been the undisputed champion his filly beat today. This was a very tough spot and the Princess was magnificent. If the BC wasn't already in their plans, why change their training/racing plans and ship her across the country on short notice? She'll be as a 4yo. I like the idea that he's talking about racing her next year. Racing needs returning superstars more than it needs the current state of the BC. The BC is not only regarded with indifference by non racing sports fans. It's beginning to be lightly regarded by racing fans and by many owners with its diluted/weakened two day cards and nesting at SA and CD.
Saratogafan More than 1 year ago
left out a word... I meant to type - "She'll be back as a 4yo"
Wendy Parrish More than 1 year ago
I don't know about the Classic but the Princess probably (?) will have a race in the BC. Speaking of the Classic, if anyone else out there thinks Paynter will win it I would like your thoughts. I thought he ran well yesterday and may be sitting on a BIG race....
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Next comment about Princess going into Classic gets dumbest comment of year award. She is 3. Just beat the best mare in this country. But seriously folks. Who else was running? The classic will be loaded withe BEARS! Ron, Fort Larned,MMM,DUDE, Paynter,Flat Out,WTC,PM,,Cross Traffic. She is smaller. Wont handle the bumping and jostling. And could get mentally ruined. She just wrapped up Filly Eclipse. Only thing she could win by running is Distaff. And with her style she may not win that on Santa Anita's speedy surface. See her at Gulfstream next year. Good work Todd.
Greg More than 1 year ago
105 beyer only!! Get Beholder vs Princess of Sylmar for horse of the year.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Stumbled badly at the start. real shooker but u always play 2-1 over 3-5. no brainer.
Nick Gunn More than 1 year ago
In every way shape and form this race was treated as a prep for Royal Delta. Hopefully Princess comes back for the distance so we can see the rematch.
ENAMMELD More than 1 year ago
This was no prep, POS won it clearly. PS. Preps at 9.5f don't go 1:102/5 to the 2nd call! Smitty thought he had it won at the 3/4 mark, he was wrong. This filly POS, is in a class of her own. The thought that the owner is going to run her as a 4yo is awesome.
Wonderagain More than 1 year ago
Owner's stance on running in BC Distaff is puzzling. Isn't this supposed to be high level sport? You win, you go on. This time you move on to year end championship race. You're not going? What da ya mean you're not going?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
The decision is all about money and the owner's confidence in Princess of Sylmar's ability to win a BC Distaff being run at Santa Anita. People can dress up the decision by making justifications that Princess "has nothing left to prove". Here's what Princess of Sylmar can gain by winning the BC Distaff: 1) an extra $1 million; 2) A 5th grade 1; 3) A second win over Royal Delta; 4) A second win over Beholder; 5) Grade 1 wins in New York, Kentucky, and California; 6) Proof that she can ship anywhere, even across the continent; 7) Proof that she can win big races over tracks as different as Churchill, Saratoga, Belmont, and Santa Anita; 8) Possibly Horse of the Year. Yep, that's nothing. I recognize that $100k is not an insignificant amount of money. But ultimately, the decision to supplement boils down to this: Are the owners confident enough to bet $100k that Princess of Sylmar will run at least 4th in this or any other future Breeder's Cup? 4th place is what it would take to break even; they would double their money running 3rd, quadruple their money running 2nd, and win $1 million if victorious. If Princess of Sylmar runs at least 4th in this Distaff or any other Distaff in the future, no money would be lost. I would think that if you felt certain that you had the best horse, the gains to be made by winning and the likelihood of winning would be greater than the potential of $100k in sunk costs.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Sorry, but this one's on the BC people, not POS's owners. They need to pay ALL expenses (iincluding Sup Fees if necesary) to ensure that the top horses run. Remember that for every money maker a horse owner has there are probably 20 (or more) that have cost money, so BC people, figure out a way to let these horses in. (If you don't want to waive the fee, then set it up so that any horse who wins a "win and you're in" race has the option of either paying the sup. fee or running for 1/2 of the purse. (This option would ONLY be available to WAYI horses)
russell More than 1 year ago
This filly had a long year and it makes sense to put her on the bench. I applaud the owners. But there's an old adage; you have to run them when they're good.
Elaine Parkinson More than 1 year ago
I think the connections of POS are thinking about the same thing that Rachel's people thought of... but too late. The last race (Whitney or Woodward, I forget) zapped Rachel. I think Royal Delta had an off day and didn't look that great, or; as great as she has in the past. Mike Smith should have read the Form and realized that the #1 horse just ran only 9 days prior (a six year old with a previous career top of a 90 Beyer; accomplished only twice in her last 12 races) and Mr. Smith should have realized that he shouldn't be going :23.78, :46.71, 1:10.53, (the #1 was done right here) 1:35.26... into an eventual 1:47.93. No disrespect to RD, but; POS is a beast and made that look easier than it was. She is top shelf horse flesh and should be conservatively handled; especially now that the owner has committed to running her as a 4 year old. Just my thoughts... but I would be rooting for her in the BC and have become a big fan since she paid so much the day before the Derby. A good friend that I play multi race wagers and he insisted we include her (because of Pletcher) in a $.50 cent Pick 4 we split that cost us $172.00 combined (not including $64.00 worth of A/C/C/A's, B/C/C/A's, and some other combo's we butchered. We pressed almost "ALL" in the last leg and we got back a little over $1835.00 for Fifty Cents worth on the expensive ticket. I think the Princess has more in her tank and still can't believe that she only cost what she did to come from a Majestic Warrior/Storm Dixie (A.P. Indy/Catienus) cross. She reminds me of Zenyatta as she runs exactly to what the situation calls for. The track was favoring speed all day and she stayed close to that pace. As to the comment about RD stumbling at the start, POS broke last and then hurried to be within 5 lengths. If she isn't completely zapped from this effort and sometime within the next 7-10 days, they should know more about how she really came out of this race. Pletcher has 7 races in her for the year so far and he should know what she has left. There is no disrespect if she doesn't travel to CA for BC. She seems to train into her races where she runs two races and then gets a breather. This was her 3rd start off the layoff and I'm sure they won't pass up a chance for a million bucks if she tells them she's ready. The best trainers and owners let the horses do the talking and I will let POS tell me if she's worth a single in a multi-race wager scheme. At this point and after THAT performance, I would single her against her own kind, against any age, on any real dirt (or even synthetic) surface. She looked that good to me yesterday and POS has HOY almost in the bag. I wouldn't hold it against her, however; if GOD wins the Classic and she doesn't go to CA, I would give it to GOD.
WarChant More than 1 year ago
Royall Delta never looked comfortable the entire race.....she looked odd and just not striding the way she does down the backside. still great run by POS
John Murray More than 1 year ago
WarChant, totally agree with you, Nick Gunn, indicates this was a prep for RD's run in the Breeder's Cup, however I believe RD def looked off form, this time. We will see how she comes out of the race, later htis week..
Jordan More than 1 year ago
It is official. Game on Dude's owners have un-nominated him from the Breeder's Cup, and are now citing the supplementary fee as the reason for not running, as the concept of winning by not running sweeps the racing world. 15 minutes after this announcement, the owners of Game on Dude were awarded the older male Eclipse at Joe Torre's house. Horse of the Year between Game on Dude, Wise Dan, and Princess of Sylmar to be determined by who's furthest from the Santa Anita starting gate Breeder's Cup weekend.
ENAMMELD More than 1 year ago
I don't know why you go all the negative votes but I love your comment. Unlike the six unlikes, you know something about horse racing!