“Frank and Joe Bellino purchased her, then Tony O’Sullivan had her for awhile,” he said. “Then they called me up and asked me if I would try her and so far, so good. She has been a very tactical horse. She’s won in (1):51 on the front end and in (1):51 coming from sixth. I think she has really matured that way which is great because then we aren’t reliant on the post."
The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and the Northern Luck mare Northern Sky was bought privately by the Bellinos from Randy Bendis, Susan Castelli and Reed Broadway in April.
Her dam earned more than $700,000 during her racing career and this filly is a half-sister to Nicholas C Hanover (Western Hanover, p,3,1:51.4s, $114,345) and Northwest Hanover (Western Hanover, p,3,1:50.4s, $341,415).
|Novascotia Hanover has won six times in 20 career starts, with earnings of $324,221.|
As a 2-year-old, Novascotia Hanover started 10 times with a record of 1-6-0 and earned $171,141. She was second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, as well as an $86,000 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile.
She started off this year with a victory in a $10,500 non-winners contest at The Meadows on April 8, while under the care of her former owner, Bendis, then started in two races for O’Sullivan.
Her first trip to the post with Morgan was a triumph in an $11,000 non-winners contest on May 29 at The Meadows and she followed that with two additional victories, one in a Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, the other an overnight at Scioto Downs.
Novascotia Hanover then was third in the $184,250 Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands on July 13, just one length behind I Luv The Nitelife. The filly was second on July 20 at The Meadows in a $78,224 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race, second in a $68,960 division of the Adioo Volo over the same oval on July 27, and first in another $78,224 Sire Stakes on Aug. 10 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Novascotia Hanover has already banked $153,080 this season and lowered her lifetime mark to 1:51.1f. Her next appearance will be in the $350,000 Valley Forge on Saturday (Aug. 17) at Pocono Downs. She will leave from the rail with Brian Sears in the bike and is 6-1 on the morning line.
“I raced against her mother and she was a nice mare,” Morgan said. “This filly might not beat this bunch, but she can go with them and when you are going for $350,000 nobody likes to win more than me, but if she finishes second or third that is a nice payday. There are definitely some very nice fillies in there and I think whoever gets the best trip will probably win.
"I don’t know how we will race her as I’ll leave that up to Brian once the gate opens. That’s pretty strong when he decides to stick with her rather than another filly that has the credentials. That’s a vote of confidence anytime a driver does that. It helps.”
Novascotia Hanover is well mannered around the barn, but can get a bit wound up on the track. Morgan said it’s “in a good way” though.
“She’s won at The Meadows, she’s won at Pocono, and she’s won at Scioto,” he said. “She was very good at the Meadowlands when she was third. She can be a little tempermental on the track at times, but she’s a nice-looking filly that has a great attitude when it comes to doing her work. She loves her time out in the field, too.”
After this filly competes against the likes of I Luv The Nitelife, Love Canal, Belle Boyd, Somwherovrarainbow, Jerseylicious and Shebestingin on Saturday, she still has a pretty full agenda for the rest of 2013.
“She is well staked,” Morgan said. “After this race, I think she has the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, because I think her last win solidified a spot for her in the final. The she has the Jugette, some other stakes after that and then the Breeders Crown.
"Anytime you can win a Pennsylvania Sire Stake that means you can win anywhere. The pedigrees of those horses are so strong. For a lot of them, the Sire Stakes are not Plan A, but Plan B, but I think she is a nice filly.”
Following is the field for the Valley Forge with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Novascotia Hanover, Brian Sears, Virgil Morgan, Jr. (6-1); 2. I Luv The Nitelife, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder (5-2); 3. Love Canal, Ron Pierce, Ross Croghan (7-2); 4. Belle Boyd, Andrew McCarthy, Tony O'Sullivan (20-1); 5. Somwherovrarainbow, Montrell Teague, George Teague, Jr. (8-1); 6. Jerseylicious, Corey Callahan, Wayne Givens (5-1); 7. Charisma Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke (12-1); 8. Summertime Lea, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke (15-1); 9. Shebestingin, David Miller, Joe Holloway (4-1).