King of Prussia Stable

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Princess of Sylmar, Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs, 2nd May 2013; TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, Saratoga, 20th July 2013; Alabama Stakes, Saratoga, 17th August 2013; Beldame Inv., Belmont Park, 28th September 2013

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Sire: Majestic Warrior. Dam: Storm Dixie

It didn’t take Ed Stanco, the managing partner of King of Prussia Stable, long to get hooked on racing. Growing up in Schenectady, New York, he was a half hour from Saratoga Race Course and Saratoga Harness. “I think I was about eight when my uncle used to take me to the trotters and sometimes the flats,” he said. “I just absolutely loved it from the very beginning.”

Not just the racing, but also trying to figure out who is going to win races. “I was always very good in math,” he said.” I said, `This is for me.’ The dream was if I could start a horse at Saratoga.”

Now 63, he followed through on both his passions. He used his math skills to become an actuary on the way to becoming CEO of Toa Reinsurance Company of America.

And he not only started and won a race at Saratoga with New York-bred star Capeside Lady, he won a Grade I stakes with Princess Sylmar, King of Prussia’s first home-bred.

Stanco started King of Prussia in 2002 with modest goals. “We take a very prudent approach,” he said. “It’s basically one or two horses at a time.”

King of Prussia invested in fillies, “for their residual value,” Stanco said, and in New York-breds and Pennsylvania-breds because of inflated purses from casino revenue. Through Mike Cascio, one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s earliest clients, King of Prussia secured Pletcher as its trainer. And through his brother, who owned a couple of horses with Ronnie and Betsy Houghton’s Sylmar Farm in Christiana, Pa., King of Prussia had a home for their broodmares and foals.

A filly King of Prussia owned, Storm Dixie, became its first broodmare and her daughter, Princess of Sylmar, became its first home-bred.

Her victory in the Kentucky Oaks allows Stanco to look forward to the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Alabama, a pair of Grade I stakes at Saratoga. Stanco summed up his experience in racing: “It’s been a very cool thing.”  

James Spence