09/29/2013 3:16PM

Belmont Park notes: Princess of Sylmar unlikely to run again this year

Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar (left) defeats Royal Delta in the Grade 1 Beldame on Saturday at Belmont Park.

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ELMONT, N.Y. – Though no decision has been made, Princess of Sylmar most likely will not run again this year but will be pointed to a 2014 campaign, her owner said Sunday.

On Saturday at Belmont Park, Princess of Sylmar upset two-time champion Royal Delta in the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational, becoming the first 3-year-old filly to win that race since Imperial Gesture in 2002. It was the sixth win from seven starts and the fourth Grade 1 victory this year for Princess of Sylmar, who also won the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama.

Ed Stanco, the owner of Princess of Sylmar, would have to supplement his filly to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for a fee of $100,000.  But that is not playing a role in the decision, he said. Stanco added that he had no plans to consider running her against males in the Classic.

“Put the nomination money aside – I think she’s done enough in her division,” Stanco said by phone. “She’s done it all, and then she won against the top older female.

“It reminded me of the days when the Jockey Club and Beldame were deciding races in their divisions,” Stanco added. “She got it done, stepped out of her class, took on the champ, and beat her. There’s no more to do. I don’t know what we’ll do yet, but that’s where I’m starting to come down. I really want to make sure she’s good for next year.”

In looking ahead to 2014, Stanco said two of the races that interest him are the Delaware Handicap, typically run in July, because it covers 1 1/4 miles, and the Personal Ensign, run at 1 1/8 miles in August at Saratoga. Stanco also said the La Troienne at Churchill, typically run the same day as the Kentucky Oaks in May, could be an early-season target.

Princess of Sylmar, trained by Todd Pletcher, earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure in the Beldame.

Meanwhile, trainer Bill Mott said Royal Delta came out of her second-place finish in the Beldame in good order and will point to a three-peat try in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

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Mott said he did not lose any confidence in Royal Delta in defeat, noting that she had two hard races in winning the Delaware Handicap and Personal Ensign prior to the Beldame.

“I backed off her a little bit, thinking I could get away with it,” Mott said Sunday. “We didn’t allow her to train quite as hard as what she normally does. She wasn’t wound quite as tight as she was maybe for some of the others.”

Mott mentioned that three of his five Breeders’ Cup Distaff winners – Ajina (1997), Unrivaled Belle (2010), and Royal Delta (2011) – had finished second in the Beldame.

Joe Hirsch: Top 3 headed to BC Turf

The top three finishers from the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic are all headed to the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, their connections said Sunday.

Little Mike won by a nose over Big Blue Kitten to earn an automatic berth into the Turf, a race he won last year over Point of Entry. The win in the Joe Hirsch was the first for Little Mike this year.

“Everybody had written him off, [but] his races weren’t that bad,” trainer Dale Romans said Sunday. “If you look at the Form, he got beat four lengths in the Million; the way the Monmouth race [United Nations] shaped up, he ran super fast. He was just a touch behind where he was last year, but he caught up yesterday.”

Romans said Little Mike, who earned a 104 Beyer on Saturday, would return to Kentucky to prepare for the Turf.

Trainer Chad Brown said he was pleased enough with how well Big Blue Kitten and Real Solution ran in the Joe Hirsch to move on to the Breeders’ Cup. Big Blue Kitten “had to pause a bit turning for home” under Joe Bravo, but Brown said he had no problem with the ride.

Brown noted that third-place finisher Real Solution was pretty wide, which cost him significant ground and a chance to win.
“All in all, both horses ran well,” Brown said. “I plan on bringing both to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Goldberg not ruling out Breeders' Cup for Laughing

Trainer Alan Goldberg said Sunday he is not ruling out running Laughing in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

On Saturday, after Laughing held off stablemate Tannery by a half-length to win the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational, owner Richard Santulli said Laughing is a bad shipper, and that would preclude him from supplementing her to the race for $100,000.

Goldberg, who keeps his horses at a training center in Colts Neck, N.J., said it would be an easier decision if there was no supplement involved.

“I wish we didn’t have to put up $100,000 to find out,” said Goldberg, who wanted a little more time before making a decision.

Goldberg said Tannery would be pointed to the E.P. Taylor, a $500,000 race against females at 1 1/4 miles, or the $1 million Pattison International, a 1 1/2-mile race against males, for her next start. Both Grade 1 races are Oct. 27 at Woodbine.

• Private Zone and Justin Phillip, the top two finishers from Saturday’s Grade 1 Vosburgh, are expected to meet again in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint.