Princess of Sylmar wins CCA Oaks
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Ed Stanco had heard the chants before, but this time they came at his hometown track.
Princess of Sylmar rolled to a six-length victory in the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course today to send the Schenectady native and his large group of fanmily and friends into a delirious celebration that spilled out of the box seats and into the winner's circle.
Loud chants of "Ed-die, Ed-die" filled the air as the 1967 Linton High graduate led his homebred filly, with Javier Castellano in the saddle, off the track, as they did when she won the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 3.
"Just look at all these people," Stanco said. "Bringing all these people here is so much fun. It's big. What can I say? I was thrilled the day we won a maiden race here with our New York-bred, and here we are with this. It's just a really special time, it is."
The victory elevates Princess of Sylmar to the lead in the 3-year-old filly division and sets her up for a return engagement to Saratoga in the Grade I Alabama on Aug. 17.
She stalked the leaders and rolled to the front outside of three horses on the turn to take the lead at the top of the stretch and finish six lengths ahead of My Happy Face.
Also on the card, Authenticity and jockey John Velazquez sat just off the slow pace set by Sea Island, then swung outside of her entering the stretch and went on to beat Flashy American by a length in the Grade II Shuvee.
Sea Island was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.
Eblouissante, a half-sister to Zenyatta, reared in the gate, and jockey Rosie Napravnik hopped off to let her settle down and reload. Eblouissante bumped Moon Philly in the early going and had no kick late, finishing last of six. Napravnik picked up the ride after jockey Junior Alvarado suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the card.