The jubilant winning owners jumped and cheered as they crossed the track to the Oaks Day winner's circle. The celebration continued as the group made their way through the Churchill Downs press-box later, with sons of owner Ed Stanco carrying the garland of lillies on their shoulders. The joy this group of unknowns exhibited, winning with an unlikely winner, demonstrates the beauty and honor felt by winning the Kentucky Oaks.
Richard Mandella's Beholder sat just behind the front-running Midnight Lucky and had the lead at the top of the stretch, but was unable to hang onto it when Princess of Sylmar came running, and lost by a half-length.
"She ran great and I'm proud of her," said Mandella. "But she might have lost this race in the post parade. She was so full of herself and so wanting to go, that she was a handful in the parade and gave the pony a heck of a time."
Sent off as the third choice among the bettors, Pletcher's Unlimited Budget overcame a bump at the start, settled in behind the leaders, but had nothing left at the finish.
"It was a really good race for her," said Pletcher. "She was in a good spot and looked like she might be able to be right there at the finish."
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