05/07/2008 11:00PM

Holy Nova stands out - if ready


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Alpine Garden, Suva, and Napa are all multiple stakes winners. Still, they figure to play second fiddle to Holy Nova in the $50,000 Brighouse Belles at Hastings Saturday.

Trained by Troy Taylor, Holy Nova has not won a stakes race in her 14-race career, but she appears to be the best sprinter in the six-furlong Brighouse Belles, which drew eight horses.

The 92 Beyer Speed Figure Holy Nova earned for her win over Vaca City Flyer at Golden Gate Dec. 14 stands out. Holy Nova followed that win with a third-place finish behind graded stakes winner and $1.1 million-earner Somethinaboutlaura in the Campanile Stakes on Jan. 1.

Holy Nova got a break after she finished last in an allowance race at Golden Gate Jan. 24.

"She got a little sick on me," said Taylor. "The time off seems to have done her a lot of good."

If Holy Nova comes close to running as well as she did in California she will be tough to beat. Leading rider Mario Gutierrez has the mount.

Yoorock Gal can also sprint, and she beat Holy Nova in a second-level allowance race that had a claiming option at Hastings last October. Yoorock Gal won a similar race at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 30. Alpine Garden won the Grade 3 B.C. Breeders' Cup Oaks last year, but she has never won a race at a distance shorter than 1 1/16 miles.

Wind Storm could be dangerous from on or just off the lead.