08/25/2010 4:13PM

Princess Taylor aims to end 17-race losing streak in TOC Handicap

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Princess Taylor has made 17 starts in 23 months at 14 racecourses on three continents since she last won a race, the European Breeders’ Fund Reprocolor Fillies Handicap at Haydock Park in England in September 2008.

Despite all that traveling and the losing streak, Princess Taylor is the mare to beat in Friday’s $75,000 CTT and Thoroughbred Owners of California Handicap at Del Mar. Run over 1 3/8 miles on turf, the CTT and TOC Handicap will be Princess Taylor’s fourth start in the United States.

Earlier this year, she was ninth in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap against males at Santa Anita in April, a game second in the Grade 3 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park in June, and third to the mighty Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes here on Aug. 7.

Princess Taylor is trained by Paddy Gallagher, the third trainer for the 6-year-old mare in the last year. She was based with Marco Botti in England in 2008 and 2009, and with Dermot Weld in Dubai earlier this year and for the San Juan Capistrano.

In her first two starts for Gallagher, Princess Taylor was not beaten far, a length in the Beverly Hills and by 2 1/2 lengths by Zenyatta.

“I was hoping that she’d hit the board,” Gallagher said of the Hirsch. “She put up a performance. She seems well anyway.”

Princess Taylor will not only be the favorite in Friday’s stakes, but the mare to catch. Jockey Victor Espinoza is likely to have Princess Taylor near the lead in the field of seven.

Restless Soul, third in the Beverly Hills, is a threat to Princess Taylor and should be suited by the distance. Restless Soul is trained by Ben Cecil, who also starts Gripsholm Castle, who won the 2009 EBF Reprocolor Fillies Handicap at Haydock Park.

“Paddy looks like he has the horse to beat,” Cecil said. “I expect Gripsholm Castle to run better. We’ve never been able to run her over the right trip. You’re lucky to get anything beyond a mile.”

Restless Soul needs distance to be most effective. She was fourth in the restricted Osunitas Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf here on July 24, closing well to finish 1 1/2 lengths behind race winner Lilly Fa Pootz.

“I think they’ve both got a chance,” Cecil said of his starters.