Princess of Sylmar, sent off at 38-1 odds, rallied to beat Beholder by a half-length in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks before a crowd of 113,820 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Trainer Todd Pletcher wasn’t sure Princess of Sylmar belonged in Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks after her April 20 workout.
After another work a week later, Pletcher talked with owner-breeder Ed Stanco. Stanco, head of King of Prussia Stable, made the call to enter her in the Grade I race for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
“Ed said, ‘I want to take a shot, let’s do it,’ ” Pletcher recalled. “I said, ‘Here we go.’ “
Princess of Sylmar, sent off at 38-1 odds, rallied to beat Beholder by a half-length before a crowd of 113,820. Mike Smith rode Princess of Sylmar, who ran 1-1/8 miles in 1 minute, 49.17 seconds, paid $79.60 to win and gave Pletcher his third Oaks victory.
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Pletcher sent out four of the 10 fillies in the field. Unlimited Budget, a 4-1 shot, was third. Dreaming of Julia, favored at 3-2, was bumped at the start and finished fourth. Silsita, at 48-1 the only filly with higher odds than Princess of Sylmar, was last.
Princess of Sylmar was ninth after a half-mile.
“When we were looking at our fillies’ chances,” Pletcher said, “I told some people, ‘If they go fast early and this filly settles, I give her an outside chance.’ “