08/09/2013 4:06PM

Monmouth Park: Plesa fillies sharp for Colleen off debut scores

Pray a Novena earned a 71 Beyer Speed Figure for her debut win.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. enjoyed a one-two finish last weekend in the Tyro Stakes for 2-year-olds at Monmouth Park as Yes I’m Lucky bested Run for Logistics.

Plesa could do it again Sunday in the $60,000 Colleen Stakes, the companion event for fillies at five furlongs on the turf.

The Colleen is the prep for the meet’s top juvenile event for females, the $100,000 Sorority Stakes, a six-furlong dirt contest on Sept. 1.

Plesa has two fillies making their second starts after dominant debut wins. Pray a Novena rallied from fifth to win by 4 1/4 lengths with a 71 Beyer Speed Figure. Flay Mignon rolled to a pace­setting score over New Jersey-bred maiden claimers, prevailing by 2  3/4 lengths with a 76 Beyer Figure.

Based on the Beyers, Plesa’s runners are much quicker than most of the Colleen competition.

The turf, however, is the great unknown.

Of the 11 entrants, Sara Bay has the lone grass experience, running fourth most recently in the Tippett Stakes at Colonial Downs.

The only filly with a comparable Beyer to the Plesa duo is Jonesin for Jerry, who earned a 74 for her maiden win at Delaware Park.

Following that victory, trainer and co-owner John Robb handed Jonesin for Jerry a tall order: the Grade 3 Schuylerville on opening day at Saratoga.

Jonesin for Jerry had the misfortune of drawing the rail and never got into the hunt.

“She had the one hole and she didn’t break sharp,” Robb said. “It didn’t work out too good for her. She came out of it okay. She was mad, if anything. She was a mad as the rest of us.”

Robb, based at Laurel, sees a number of factors benefiting his filly in the Colleen.

First and foremost, a huge shift in posts. This time, Jonesin for Jerry has the outside stall.

He is also encouraged that her sire, Great Notion, has thrown some productive grass runners.

“They all seem to take to it pretty good,” Robb said of the transition to turf. “She’s never been on it. They don’t let us use it down here to work on.”

And Robb will add blinkers.

“She seems to run a lot better if she’s close to the lead,” he said. “She worked super out of the gate with them. Hopefully she brings that to the afternoon.”

That workout was a crisp five furlongs in 59 seconds on Aug. 2 at Laurel.

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