OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Jockey Chris DeCarlo was on the Belt Parkway, one exit south of Aqueduct headed home to New Jersey when he received a text message from trainer Todd Pletcher about his status to replace the injured Rajiv Maragh aboard Princess of Sylmar in Saturday’s $100,000 Busanda Stakes.
“He sent me a text and said you’re the leading candidate to ride her so I turned around and came back and I’m glad I did,” DeCarlo said.
DeCarlo had to wait a few hours for his only mount of the day, but it was well worth it as he guided Princess of Sylmar to a dominant 7 1/2-length victory in the Busanda Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
Ruby Lips finished second by a length over Asiya, but was disqualified by the stewards and placed third for interfering with Asiya at the 70-yard marker.
The win was the third straight after a loss in her debut for Princess of Sylmar, a daughter of Majestic Warrior owned by King of Prussia Stable. All three of her wins have come around two turns.
In the Busanda, DeCarlo kept Princess of Sylmar inside and a close-up third behind Kiss the Lady, who set the pace while being chased by Ruby Lips through fractions of 24.08 seconds and 48.65.
Turning into the stretch, Princess of Sylmar came off the inside, split a tiring Kiss the Lady and Ruby Lips and galloped home an authoritative winner. Princess of Sylmar covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:41.27 and returned $3.90 as the 4-5 favorite.
“I just sat behind the speed, she put me in a good spot and I was just waiting for a hole to open up and as soon as it opened up she accelerated right on through there no problem,” DeCarlo said.
Princess of Sylmar may have begun her career at Penn National – where she won a maiden race by 19 lengths in her second start – but she will likely be staying on the bigger circuits from now on. The question is whether she stays in New York or heads to south Florida for the series of graded two-turn races at Gulfstream Park that could help her qualify for the Kentucky Oaks. That’s a decision that will come a later date.
If she remains in New York, the next logical spot for Princess of Sylmar would be the $100,000 Busher Stakes here on Feb. 2.