In the wake of Princess of Sylmar’s fifth-place finish in the Personal Ensign on Friday, owner Ed Stanco is strongly considering the prospect of retiring his prized 4-year-old filly.
Trainer Todd Pletcher told him that Princess of Sylmar came out of the race with a case of the thumps, a flutter of the diaphragm similar to hiccups that indicates an electrolyte imbalance.
Regardless, Stanco and Pletcher will weigh their options before she attempts to race again.
“I think she’s done, but we’ll see,” Stanco said on Saturday morning. “Todd will make a recommendation, then we’ll decide.”
“My concern is that she might’ve gotten to the point that fillies get to. It’s up to Todd and what he wants to see.”
Princess of Sylmar, bred by Stanco, a 1967 Linton High graduate, won four Grade I races last year to make a bid for the 3-year-old filly championship, but after finishing last in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, she has lost three straight this year after opening her 4-year-old season with a win in the ungraded Cat Cay.
“It certainly is not the same as a year ago. This might be it. It could be. I’m not going to let her go out on a low note. Too many fillies have been pushed way too far, and I’m not going to do that. She’s had a brilliant career. I have real mixed feelings about whether or not we go again.”
Ludicrous, a first-time starter for trainer Chad Brown of Mechanicville, broke his right front leg near the sixteenth pole during the fourth race, won by Bayerd, and had to be euthanized.
The son of Medaglia d’Oro, who was purchased by Robert LaPenta and Sheep Pond Partners for $770,000 at the April Keeneland Sale, bumped into Today’s Agenda in the stretch, took a bad step and broke down.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. fell off and rolled on the track several times, but was OK and came back to win the fifth race on Chat.
There have been five fatalities on the track during the meet, three believed to have been due to cardiovascular attacks, and breakdowns to Ludicrous and Father John’s Pride. Lavender Road broke her neck when she collapsed and hit the rail, then was euthanized the next day.
Six stakes for New York-breds are sprinkled through today’s Saratoga Showcase Day, capped by the $250,000 Albany.
The 11⁄8-mile race for 3-year-olds on the main track is the final leg of the Big Apple Triple, and will feature the winners of the first two legs.
Captain Serious won the seven-furlong Mike Lee at Belmont Park, but did not run in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes, which was won by Empire Dreams.
Captain Serious is 3-1-1 from five career starts, the third-place finish coming here in the Grade II Amsterdam on July 26, and Empire Dreams is 3-4-1 from nine starts.
Tin Cup Chalice is the only horse to sweep all three legs of the Big Apple Triple.
Dayatthespa, trained by Brown, was cross-entered in Saturday’s Grade II Ballston Spa and today’s $150,000 Yaddo, a 1 1/16-mile turf run for fillies and mares 3 and older. Brown waited until Friday night to choose the Yaddo, a race Dayatthespa won last year, because the turf course was still soft by the late-week rain.
Her win in the Yaddo last year was the last time she won, ending a stretch in which she was 7-1-0 from nine career starts.
She will be one of six running the race, including winner of the 2013 Grade I Del Mar Oaks, Discreet Marq, and winner of the 2013 Grade III Appalachian at Keeneland, Unbelievable Dream.