12/30/2011 2:30PM

Gulfstream Park: Sacristy goes from maiden win to Old Hat

Tom Keyser
Say a Novena will try to bounce back from a disappointing finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in Sunday's Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Say A Novena and Awesome Belle made their last starts in the Breeders’ Cup, Quick Flip is an undefeated stakes winner, but Sacristy could prove the one to beat when launching her 3-year-old campaign Sunday in the highly competitive Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The Grade 3, six-furlong Old Hat lured a field of eight 3-year-old fillies, with Sacristy one of only two members of the lineup not having multiple victories on her r é sum é . But Sacristy improved with every start at 2, saving her best for last when finally getting on dirt to register an easy 6 3/4-length maiden special weight victory at Churchill Downs for which she earned an 85 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She ran fast the day she won her maiden, so I gave her a little break and she’s nice and freshened up right now,” said Wayne Catalano who trains Sacristy for John Fort’s Peachtree Stable.

Sacristy has worked extremely well since shipping locally, posting a pair of bullet five-furlong drills in 58 seconds on Dec. 7 and 59.40 on Dec. 17.

“I love the way she’s training and I’m looking for her to run a big race on Sunday,” Catalano said.

Say a Novena and Awesome Belle finished far behind My Miss Auerlia in the Juvenile Fillies, although both horses were compromised by their post positions breaking from the extreme outside in posts 13 and 14, respectively.

Say a Novena is a two-time stakes winner and also finished second in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 Matron at 2. She is a versatile sort capable of winning on or from just off the lead.

Awesome Belle captured the final division of Calder’s Florida Stallion Series for fillies, the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl, but also was stakes placed sprinting on two other occasions.

The well-travelled Quick Flip is perfect in three starts, having won her maiden at Parx Racing, a first-level allowance dash at Monmouth Park, and the six-furlong Sandpiper at Tampa Bay Downs just three weeks earlier for trainer Terri Pompay. Quick Flip will break from post 8 on Sunday.

“I love her, she’s getting better every time she runs.” Pompay said. “She’s improved since her last race and seems to do just enough to get the job done when she runs. I love the outside post. I don’t think she needs to go to the front, and being out there should give her an opportunity to break, get good position, and see how things are unfolding.”

Sabrina’s Dance also is unbeaten, having won her only two outings at 2, the first win coming for trainer Michael Yates and the second for her present connections of owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Nick Canani. Sabrina’s Dance has yet to compete beyond five furlongs.

Bet to Win was an easy winner of each of her first two starts, both tallies coming over Polytrack at Arlington Park and Keeneland. She suffered her first defeat when stretching to a mile and switching to dirt for the Grade 2 Pocahantas at Churchill Downs when she forced the early pace before stopping badly to finish 12th and last in her juvenile finale.

Yara is coming off her best effort yet when leading throughout to register a 5 1/4-length triumph in Calder’s seven-furlong Jack O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies.

Old Hat S. (G3), Post Time: 4:17 ET Sunday

Purse: $100,000; 6 furlongs





ML Odds


Soft Whisper

D. Vance

J. Leparoux



Say A Novena

E. Plesa, Jr.

E. Trujillo



Sabrina's Dance

N. Canani

P. Lopez




W. Catalano

K. Desormeaux



Bet To Win

J. DiVito

J. Castellano



Awesome Belle

S. Gold

L. Saez




J. Garoffalo

J. Velazquez



Quick Flip

T. Pompay

R. Maragh