Paula Tucker’s Princess Rooney saved her best performance from a career of 21 starts for last as she romped home a seven-length winner of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Ladies’ Classic) at Hollywood Park in 1984, run at the 1 1/4 miles distance of the Breeders’ Cup Classic later that historic afternoon, and posting a time four-fifths of a second faster than Wild Again. Princess Rooney was acclaimed Eclipse champion filly or mare after having been a leading contender in her division at ages two and three.
A Kentucky-bred gray filly by Verbatim, Princess Rooney raced undefeated as in six starts as a 2-year-old in 1982 and extended her perfect record the next spring with major scores in the Ashland and Kentucky Oaks for trainer Frank Gomez. Sent to future Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale in California for her 4-year-old campaign, she won the Vanity Handicap and Spinster Stakes among victories before the Breeders’ Cup. Princess Rooney became the first Breeders’ Cup winner voted into the Saratoga Hall of Fame in 1991.