07/23/2013 12:53PM

Dick Jerardi: Cotillion's million-dollar purse may lure Princess of Sylmar to Parx

Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar, winning the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, may be pointed to the Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies at Parx on Sept. 21.

Todd Pletcher called Kendrick Carmouche’s agent last November and said he wanted the jockey to head to Penn National to ride a maiden, a filly who had been the beaten favorite in her only start, also at Penn.

Pletcher told the jockey “just warm her up good, break her sharp, and she will win.”

Princess of Sylmar did not just win last Nov. 8. She won by 19 lengths. The $3.80 looks like a bargain now.

“She just rated behind horses until running over them at the quarter pole,” Carmouche said. “I was just sitting there, relaxing. There wasn’t much to do any part of it.”

She probably won’t be back to Penn National soon, but Princess of Sylmar could be at Parx Racing on Sept. 21 for the Grade 1 Cotillion.

Did Carmouche know she was on her way to becoming the best 3-year-old filly in America?

“You really don’t know whenever they break their maiden, but once she came back [in New York] and won again, you knew she was good,” Carmouche said.

The Pennsylvania-bred Princess of Sylmar is really good on the way to who knows how good. She has now run in five stakes and has four wins with a second. She won the Kentucky Oaks. She won the Coaching Club American Oaks. She is going to be difficult to beat in the Alabama.

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Owner/breeder Ed Stanco, who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs, really wants to win the Alabama. But, given the huge breeder bonus, it is probably going to be hard to pass up the $1 million Cotillion, not far from where he lives.

Princess of Sylmar got a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in the Kentucky Oaks, a 104 in the CCA Oaks. There is simply no way to know how high is up for this filly.

As good as she is, her story might be better. After much thought, Stanco sent his one mare, Storm Dixie, to Kentucky to be bred to Grand Slam. On the day she was to be bred, Stanco was told Grand Slam was not available. But it was suggested to him he breed his mare to Majestic Warrior, a son of A.P. Indy.

Stanco went along with the suggestion. The mare was brought back to Pennsylvania to foal at Ron and Betsy Houghton’s farm.

They have been foaling horses at Sylmar Farm for years. But somebody must have sensed something. This one, they called Princess of Sylmar.

Winning like a champion at Delaware

I loved how Mike Smith described the second consecutive Delaware Handicap win by Royal Delta, a record 10 3/4-length blowout.
“It is about as easy as it gets,” the Hall of Fame rider said.

Smith really had one job.

“I just wanted to make sure I stayed on and crossed the wire,” he said.

Trainer Bill Mott did not like how Royal Delta ran with Lasix when she was a well-beaten second in the Fleur de Lis at Churchill. So, she ran without Lasix in the Del Cap and ran just like Royal Delta is supposed to run.

Two Parx stars run big at Delaware

Two races prior to the Delaware Handicap, one really fast filly and one really fast mare, each based at Parx Racing, hooked up in the Sweet and Sassy Stakes. Evening Show, featured in this space a few weeks ago, spotted a lot of racing experience to Winning Image, but the bettors decided to make her the favorite anyway.

However, Evening Show also spotted Winning Image a tactical edge. Winning Image, winner of the May 25 My Juliet Stakes at Parx, was making her 23rd career start. She wins by going to the front and refusing to let horses pass. Evening Show, making just her fifth career start, made a big run at Winning Image, but just could not get by.

Winning Image got her 11th career win and surpassed $500,000. The 6-year-old Winning Image has more wins in her. So does Evening Show.

Faster than fast at Charles Town

In the initial Mid-Atlantic report back in March, the lead item was about a crazy-fast filly named Jax and Jill. She has run four times at 4 1/2 furlongs since then, made an easy lead every time, and won three, getting caught in the other race by Down Town Allen, a horse who has won six consecutive races.