Peachtree Stable's 3-year-old filly Sacristy has gone from strength to strength in her four career starts for trainer Wayne Catalano, winning the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) by 1 ¾ lengths at Gulfstream Park last out on New Year's Day, and will likely be favored to take another step up in the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) Sunday.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux has ridden Sacristy in her last three starts and will be back aboard in the seven-furlong Forward Gal. The dark bay daughter of Pulpit began her career finishing second in maiden special events at Arlington Park and Keeneland before breaking through to score by 6 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs going 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 10 before shipping south for the winter.
“We're happy with the way she's training and we're looking forward to Sunday's race,” Catalano said.
Rallying to finish second in the Old Hat and coming back in the Forward Gal will be Rick Shanley's Say a Novena with jockey Elvis Trujillo in the saddle for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. The daughter of Songandaprayer posted three wins and two seconds from seven starts last year, winning stakes at Monmouth Park and Parx before a 10th-place finish from post 14 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.
“We're looking forward to this race' said Plesa Thursday morning. “We know she likes the distance. She got back a little farther then we thought she would in her last race, and got some dirt kicked in her face, but we were pleased with her race. We're going to put 'blinkers on' and that should keep her more focused and put her in more of a stalking position for this race.”
Also certain to attract support will be E. Paul Robsham Stable's Broadway Alibi with jockey John Velazquez in the saddle for leading trainer Todd Pletcher. The Kentucky homebred by Vindication finished second in her debut at Delaware Park on August 20 before breaking her maiden there by seven lengths in her next start on Sept. 10. In one start since, she romped home a five-length winner of a 6 ½-furlong allowance here on Dec. 15.
The 'wild card' entry in the Forward Gal is Elaine, Richard and Bertram Klein's Good Deed invading from New Orleans for trainer Steve Margolis with jockey Corey Lanerie along for the ride. The Kentucky homebred daughter of Broken Vow has won her last three of four career starts impressively over three different racetracks, most recently the Letelier Memorial going six furlongs at Fair Grounds on Dec. 18 by three lengths.
Completing the field for the Forward Gal are Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence's Quick Flip, Rajiv Maragh; and Peras International's Yara, Luis Saze.
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