07/31/2008 12:00AM

Holy Nova to meet the boys in B.C. Cup Sprint


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - In the past, the $50,000 B.C. Cup Sprint has easily outshone the $100,000 Classic as the best race on B.C. Cup Day. Once again, the Sprint is shaping up to be the more interesting race, especially with Holy Nova in the field.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Holy Nova is easily the best filly or mare in Western Canada. She has just toyed with her rivals in all three of her starts north of the border this year. But can she beat what appears to be a very solid field of older male sprinters Monday?

"She wins just about every time we run her," Taylor said. "It won't be easy, but she's never been better."

Taylor was hoping to run Holy Nova in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race Sunday. When the race didn't fill, he entered her in the Sprint.

"She needs to run," he said. "We're planning on taking her to Northlands for a $100,000 race on Aug. 23, and she needs a prep race."

Taylor was referring to the Edmonton Distaff. The $300,000 Canadian Derby is on the same day, and Taylor is pointing Texas Wildcatter for that Grade 3, 1 3/8-mile race. He has entered Texas Wildcatter against older horses in the Classic.

"He hasn't raced since June, and if he's going to be ready to go that far, he's also going to need a race," Taylor said.

In his last start, Texas Wildcatter finished fifth in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer won by Pyro at Churchill Downs on June 14. He had an ordinary six-furlong move in 1:17.20 at Hastings on July 27.

"It wasn't what we were looking for," Taylor said. "I took the blinkers off for the work. We'll put them back on for the race."

B R Remark seeks repeat in Sprint

Trainer Brian Giesbrecht feels that B R Remark, who won the Sprint last year and was voted the province's champion sprinter, is the one to beat.

"He's a proven stakes winner, and the ones that look like the tough ones haven't really proven themselves at this level," Giesbrecht said. "Mel's horse has gone 1:16 and so has Gilker's, but they had things their own way, and we'll see how they hold up when they get eyeballed going 44 and change."

Giesbrecht was referring to Seminole Brave, who is trained by Mel Snow, and Bank Emblem, who comes out of the Rob Gilker barn.

After B R Remark finished fifth in the 1 1/16-mile John Longden 6000 on June 7, Giesbrecht was looking at running him in the 6 1/2-furlong Governors Handicap at Emerald Downs on July 6. He scrapped his plans at the last minute.

"He seemed a bit off, so I had him scoped just before we were going to enter him and he was full of mucus," Giesbrecht said.

B R Remark's sharp five-furlong work in 1:00.60 has Giesbrecht convinced that he's coming up to a big race.

"It was his usual work," Giesbrecht said. "He cruised around there, posting 12-second eighths the whole way. He's a very good sprinter and I'm very pleased with the way he is coming into the race. He has a good shot at defending his title."

Rosberg impresses with drill

Trainer Dino Condilenios was pleased with the way Rosberg came out of his five-furlong move in 1:01.20 with Dave Wilson aboard on July 30. Prior to the work, Condilenios was on the fence on whether he would run Rosberg on B.C. Cup Day. After the work, Condilenios entered him in the Sprint.

"Davie really liked the way he worked," Condilenios said. "He told me he had plenty of horse the whole way. He came out of it in good shape, so we're going to go."

In his last start, Rosberg finished sixth in the $119,000 Opening Verse Handicap at Churchill Downs on May 31. The 1 1/16-mile race was the first time Rosberg had raced on turf. In his previous start, he finished fifth in the Grade 2, $1 million Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 29.

Zounds trying dirt in Classic

Trainer Terry Jordan has shipped Zounds in from Woodbine to run in the Classic. Zounds has won 3 of his 5 starts in Ontario this year and his last three starts have been on turf. Zounds has never raced on dirt, but he has trained over it.

"He shouldn't have any trouble handling the track," Jordan said. "He trained here earlier this year and he handled it just fine when he worked over it."

Jordan also had planned on bringing Dancing Allstar out for either the Sprint or the Dogwood.

"I wasn't happy with the weights," Jordan said. "It seems like they don't want a good horse to run here."

A 3-year-old filly, Dancing Allstar was assigned 126 pounds for the Dogwood and 118 for the Sprint. Jordan said Dancing Allstar would remain at Woodbine and make her next start in the $150,000 Duchess Stakes on Aug. 9.

Hastings boosts some purses

Raj Mutti, general manager at Hastings, wasn't responding to Jordan when he expressed a different opinion about having good horses running at Hastings. Instead, he was talking about why Hastings earmarked the allowance and high-priced claiming races when they announced a purse increase that kicks in this weekend.

"Our goal is to improve the overall quality of racing at Hastings," Mutti said.

Overnight purses have been increased by 10 percent, and with the announcement that the permanent slots floor will open Aug. 15, it is expected another increase will be in the cards next year. Currently, there are 150 slots at Hastings. When the new area opens, the total will jump to 600.

According to a news release from Great Canadian Gaming Corp., the approximately 42,000-square-foot facility also will house a sports and entertainment lounge, plus offer new food and beverage options.

Construction on other parts of the facility will continue throughout 2009. Great Canadian is committed to spending $40 million on the overall project.