Princess of Sylmar Downs Royal Delta
Top class filly Princess of Sylmar (3f Majestic Warrior x Storm Dixie, by Catienus) confirmed her status as the best three year-old filly in the country when defeating champion mare Royal Delta to win the Grade I Beldame Stakes at Belmont. Sent out second favourite behind Royal Delta, the Todd Pletcher trained filly proved too good for her older rival over the concluding stages, surging clear to win the 1 and 1/8th mile contest by two lengths. The high class daughter of Majestic Warrior has now won her past four starts in Grade I events, the Beldame Stakes following on from the Alabama Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks and Kentucky Oaks, her efforts sure to have her a hot favourite to be the Eclipse Award Champion 3YO Filly. "I just wanted to emphasize, 'Let her run her race. Don't chase. Wherever you are, let it be on her terms, and just try to sit back and play to her strengths,'” said Todd Pletcher. “I felt like if there was anyone on paper who could do that, it was her. It was nice [Royal Delta] didn't get completely loose. We kind of got within striking distance at the quarter pole and I thought we had a big shot." Princess of Sylmar is the first winner for stakes-placed Storm Dixie, a half-sister to Grade III winner Rhythm Band and has the overall record of eight wins and a second from 10 starts with prizemoney topping $1.6 million.. She is the best of six stakes-winners by leading young sire Majestic Warrior, whose oldest progeny are three year-olds.