07/30/2010 12:33PM

Holy Nova faces stiff challenge from Shakenwithanolive in Madamoiselle


Holy Nova will try and keep her perfect record at Northlands Park intact when she takes on a very tough Shakenwithanolive in the $50,000 Madamoiselle Handicap on Sunday. The 1 1/16-mile feature for older fillies and mares drew six horses and goes as race 7 on an eight-race card that starts at 1 p.m. Mountain.

The champion older filly or mare in British Columbia last year, Holy Nova has started three times at Northlands and each time has taken home the top prize. In 2008, she won the John Patrick and the $100,000 Edmonton Distaff. In her only start in 2010, Holy Nova shipped from Hastings to win a $40,000 optional claiming sprint July 9. It was her first race since she won the Grade 3 Ballerina at Hastings last Oct. 17. Her trainer, Alan May, said he thinks Holy Nova is ready for a big effort Sunday.

“That was a good race for her, especially considering how long she had been away,” said May. “She had a great work last Saturday and she really seems to like this track. Shakenwithanolive looks pretty tough but hopefully somebody will go with her this time.”

Shakenwithanolive, trained by Robertino Diodoro, also has a solid record at Northlands, winning 2 of 3 starts, and figures to move forward off her front-running win in the one-mile John Patrick on July 11. It was the first time Shakenwithanolive has gone farther than six furlongs in her 15-race career and after posting fast fractions she had plenty of gas left to hold off Alywyn. Shakenwithanolive earned a bullet for her snappy five-furlong work in 58.80 seconds July 24 and if she clears early she could be tough to catch.

Alywyn had her six-race winning streak snapped in the John Patrick but she still ran a big race to finish second. The slightly longer distance might not be beneficial to her, however, as all nine of her wins have come in sprints.

Miss Victoriana, second by a neck to Holy Nova, will appreciate the added distance. Miss Victoriana’s previous race was a failed turf experiment at Turf Paradise in the $50,000 Glendale Handicap on Jan. 16. Her most important win was in the $71,000 Northlands Oaks last year.

Lemon Pepper won two stakes at Northlands last year, including the $50,000 Alberta Oaks. She tuned up for the Madamoiselle with a fourth- place finish behind Holy Nova in her first start of 2010.