08/07/2011 5:49PM

Monmouth Park: Say a Novena right at home in Colleen victory

David Owens/Equi-Photo
Say a Novena wins the Colleen and will run in the Sorority next.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Say a Novena held off Greatful Heir by a neck to win the $71,500 Colleen Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park.

The Colleen is the prep for the Sept. 5 Sorority Stakes, the meet’s top event for 2-year-old fillies. That is likely the next destination for Say a Novena.

“We’d love to run in it,” said owner Rick Shanley. “This is a home track for us. We’d love to just keep running here.”

The Colleen was the fourth start for Say a Novena, and third at Monmouth. She was fourth in her debut before notching her maiden win here on June 12. Say a Novena stepped up to the Grade 2 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park, where she was a solid second in the six-furlong race.

A cutback in distance to 5 1/2 furlongs for the Colleen and a return to her home base were big factors in the win by Say a Novena.

Shocktime broke sharply and a quickly had company from Say a Novena, who had Mike Luzzi aboard for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. Say a Novena took charge turning for home and prevailed over Greatful Heir, the 8-5 favorite who closed the gap while drifting extremely wide.

“She’s been showing a lot of heart in her four races,” said Luzzi. “The last race at Belmont was better than it looked. She had to run hard. Today, she sat off a horse and she finishes nice. She acts like a 3-year-old.”

Say a Novena paid $10.20 to win. The time was 1:04.29 on the fast track.

Baffle Me was third followed by Born Bullish, Fan Out, Shocktime and Knight Tripp.