09/19/2014 8:43PM

Princess of Sylmar retired at 4

Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar won four consecutive Grade 1 races last year at age 3.

Princess of Sylmar, a four-time Grade 1-winning filly, has been retired from racing, her connections announced via press release Friday evening.

Princess of Sylmar was diagnosed with a severe case of the thumps, an electrolyte imbalance, following her fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on Aug. 22 at Saratoga. Her connections had hoped to get her back to the races this fall, but she wasn’t training well enough to be considered for races like the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont Park on Sept. 27 or the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 5.

“Preparing her for her next race was taking longer than I expected,” trainer Todd Pletcher said in a press release issued by owner/breeder Ed Stanco’s King of Prussia Stable. “Because she will miss this year’s running of the Beldame and the Spinster, Ed and I decided that timing is such that we decided to retire her.”

Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Majestic Warrior out of the Catienus mare Storm Dixie, won 9 of 15 starts, including seven stakes, and earned $2,017,220.

In 2013, Princess of Sylmar won four consecutive Grade 1 stakes: the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama, and Beldame Invitational, the latter in which she defeated the two-time champion Royal Delta.

Princess of Sylmar was denied the 3-year-old filly championship when she finished last behind the 3-year-old filly Beholder in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Princess of Sylmar managed just one win from four starts this year, that being the Cat Cay Stakes in her seasonal debut over Aqueduct’s main track. In her last three starts, she finished second in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps and second in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap before her poor finish in the Personal Ensign.

On her way to winning the Kentucky Oaks, Princess of Sylmar won the Busanda and Busher stakes over Aqueduct’s inner track in the winter of 2013.

“We were with her from birth and watched her grow up to be one of the finest fillies in the world,” Stanco said in the release. “Now she will enter the next phase of her life. The Princess was a blessing beyond once in a lifetime, and she has provided our partners, families, friends, and racing fans with unparalleled joy.”

Stanco thanked all the people who had been a part in Princess of Sylmar’s development – including Ron and Betsy Houghton, who raised the filly on their farm – and thanked the connections of Beholder, Royal Delta, and Close Hatches “because without them, we wouldn’t have had the world-class competition that made racing the Princess so much fun,” Stanco said.

No decision has been made on to whom Princess of Sylmar will be bred.