The 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar stunned the older champion and 1-5 favorite Royal Delta with a decisive victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Beldame Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
Princess of Sylmar, closer to the early pace than usual, followed Royal Delta’s move on the far turn, engaged that one in upper stretch, and drew clear after taking over inside the eighth pole to score by two lengths under Javier Castellano.
Royal Delta was off a step slow, but quickly became involved to press an honest early pace set by Roman Invader, and took command midway on the far turn. But the two-time Eclipse Award winner had no answer for her younger rival in the final furlong and had to settle for the place. Royal Delta finished almost seven lengths ahead of Centring, with And Why Not and Roman Invader completing the order of finish.
Princess of Sylmar, a daughter of Majestic Warrior out of Storm Dixie, by Catienus, is owned by King of Prussia Stable, and is trained by Todd Pletcher. She covered the 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track in 1:47.93, and paid $6.20 as the second choice in the wagering.
The Beldame was the fourth straight Grade 1 victory for Princess of Sylmar, who was the nation’s ranking 3-year-old filly going into Saturday on the strength of her wins in the Kentucky Oaks, CCA Oaks, and Alabama.