Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. will send a pair of fillies in Pray
a Novena and Flay Mignon out for the $60,000 Colleen Stakes on Sunday. The Colleen
will be the second career start for each horse, both of which are coming off
On July 26, Pray a Novena took the
lead around the far turn in a maiden special weight event and opened up in the
stretch run to win by an impressive four and a quarter lengths at the wire,
stepping the five and a half furlongs in 1:06 1/5 along Monmouth’s main track.
Two days later on July 28, Flay Mignon took the lead after firing out of the
gate in a maiden special weight race on the dirt at Monmouth and never looked
back while going gate-to-wire, winning by two and three-quarter lengths. While
their previous outings all point to another impressive performance in the
Colleen, Plesa believes the wildcard in the race is the unfamiliar surface that
his fillies will face on Sunday.
“It’s all a question of whether
they like the turf,” Plesa said. “It’s a question mark because of their
pedigree, but they’re training great and doing great. I couldn’t separate the
two. The plan is to run them in the Sorority if they do well here.”
A 2-year-old daughter of Belong to
Me out of Adhrhythm, Pray a Novena carries the colors of Rick Shanley and
Laurie Plesa, while the 2-year-old daughter of Yesbyjimminy out of Forest
Retreat, Flay Mignon bears the colors solely of Laurie Plesa. Each filly earned
an identical $24,000 for their ownership interests in their lone lifetime
start. Jockey Paco Lopez will ride
Flay Mignon who will break from the six-hole, as Gabriel Saez gets the mount
aboard Pray a Novena coming out of post position four. Lopez rode each of the
fillies to victory in their previous race.
“I asked Paco which one he wanted
to ride and he chose Flay Mignon,” said Plesa. “She should be on the lead or
close to it. She has a lot of speed. The other filly (Pray a Novena) should be
set up in a stalking position.”
Sunday’s Colleen Stakes for
2-year-old fillies is set to go off as race 11 on Monmouth’s 12-race card.