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Say a Novena Back Sprinting in Old Hat

Rick Shanley’s Say a Novena and Jacks or Better Farm’s Awesome Belle finished 10th and 12th, respectively, after breaking from the far outside post positions in a field of 14 last out in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) behind Eclipse Award favorite My Miss Aurelia at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

The connections of Say a Novena and Awesome Belle will look for their fillies to get a new campaign off to a better start in a field of eight drawn for the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) at six furlongs on Sunday.

Jockey Elvis Trujillo rides Say a Novena for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. as she gets back to sprinting, which she did very well during her 2-year-old campaign, finishing second in the Matron Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in July after a three-length maiden score at Monmouth Park in June in her second start.

A daughter of Songandaprayer, Say a Novena was based at Monmouth for the summer and won the Colleen Stakes there in August and finished second in the Sorority before earning her chance in the Breeders’ Cup with a 6 ½ lengths score in the $150,000 Brandywine Stakes going seven furlongs at Parx on Oct. 1.

Jockey Luis Saez gets the call on Awesome Belle for trainer Stanley Gold. The Florida homebred daughter of Awesome of Course earned her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup winning the $300,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder on Oct. 15 by 7 ½ lengths going 1 1/16 miles after several good tries sprinting.

Another contender in the Old Hat that made her last start at Churchill will be Peachtree Stable’s Sacristy with jockey Kent Desormeaux in the saddle for trainer Wayne Catalano. The daughter of Pulpit finished second in maiden special races on Polytrack at Arlington Park and Keeneland before a break-though 6 ¾ lengths victory going 6 ½ furlongs tally at Churchill on Nov. 10.

Completing the field for the Old Hat are Carl Pollard and W. Earl Reed’s Soft Whisper, Julien Leparoux; Frank Calabrese’s Sabrina’s Dance, Paco Lopez; Curtis Green’s Bet to Win, Javier Castellano; Peras International’s Yara, John Velazquez; and Klaravich Stable’s Quick Flip, Rajiv Maragh.


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