Princess of Sylmar, a disappointing fifth in the Grade I Personal Ensign at Saratoga Race Course last Friday, will not be retired, owner Ed Stanco said on Tuesday, and will point to the Sept. 27 Beldame at Belmont Park.
Princess of Sylmar, winner of four straight Grade I races, including the Beldame in 2013, came out of the Personal Ensign with a case of the thumps, a spasm of the diaphragm similar to the hiccups in humans.
She was treated with electrolytes — essentially the equine equivalent of Gatorade — and is fully recovered from the condition.
Stanco, a Schenectady native who graduated from Linton High School in 1967, said on Saturday that he thought Princess of Sylmar would be retired, but he was convinced by trainer Todd Pletcher that she had a legitimate excuse in the race and that her training prior to the Personal Ensign showed that she is still capable of winning Grade I’s.
“She’s fine now,” Stanco said. “She went through significant thumping. I talked to Todd, and he said she had been training as if she was absolutely on top of her game. He was expecting a huge performance.
“He said if 50 horses come back with the thumps, one in 50 will have a good race. There’s no question it impacted her performance.”
Princess of Sylmar, who won the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama at Saratoga last year, looked like her old self in winning the Cat Cay at Aqueduct for her 2014 debut in April.
She then lost a close one to Close Hatches in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park, finished second to Belle Gallantey in the Delaware Handicap and was fifth to Close Hatches in the Personal Ensign.
“We’ll keep a close look at her and keep preparing for the Beldame and possibly for the Breeders’ Cup,” Stanco said. “We were really considerng retiring her if it looked like she didn’t want it. Not to make excuses and not to take anything away from Close Hatches, but there was some flaw there. It’s unfortunate, because we really wanted to be competitive in that race.”
Saratoga maiden winners Sunday Sonnet, Magnificent Margo and Rainha Da Bateria step into stakes company today in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson for 2-year-old fillies.
Sunday Sonnet, trained by Kelly Breen, won an off-the-turf seven-furlong maiden race on July 27 in front-running fashion, strolling home
7 1⁄2 lengths ahead of the field. Six days earlier, Rainha Da Bateria rallied for a head victory in a 5 1⁄2 -furlong turf sprint.
Magnificent Margo comes back 19 days after a nose victory in her debut at odds of 8-1 for trainer Mike Maker. Red-hot rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. gets a return call on the Congrats filly, 7-2 on the morning line.