06/24/2010 11:00PM

Bay to Bay gets tricky post in stakes


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Bay to Bay had a wonderful campaign last year, winning two races, including the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine.

Bay to Bay has come back even stronger this season, making her the one to beat Saturday at Monmouth Park in the Grade 3, $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.

"With racing, she's getting better and better all around," trainer Brian Lynch said.

Her biggest obstacle in the Boiling Springs could be the post. She has the outside slot against nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race, with Alan Garcia set to ride. Speed on the turf has been very potent at this meet, creating some tactical issues.

"I am not happy with the post position," Lynch said. "I think there is enough speed in there, so there should be a genuine pace. Hopefully, they will get stretched out enough where she can place herself midfield. You wouldn't want to be too far off, having watched the races there."

Bay to Bay makes her third start of the season, all road trips from home base at Woodbine.

"There are not too many 3-year-old filly races around, particularly at Woodbine," Lynch said. "The mile and a sixteenth lets us gradually stretch her out. A mile and quarter will be the ultimate goal toward the end of the year."

Bay to Bay has run twice at one mile on the grass this year. She started with a rallying second in the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, missing by three-quarters of a length.

"She was a bit rusty in the Appalachian," Lynch said. "She broke a bit tardy and left herself too much to do."

Bay to Bay put it all together last time, rallying for a 2 1/2-length win in the American 1000 Guineas at Arlington and posting a career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

"She took that little step forward we were hoping she would," Lynch said. "I think she will take another step forward here on Saturday."

Strike It Rich, In the Rough, Elusive Temper, and Great Gracie Dane -- the first four finishers in the Little Silver Stakes on May 30 -- all return for the Boiling Springs.

"It's a tough, tough race," said Kelly Breen, In the Rough's trainer.

The second-place finish in the Little Silver was a nice rebound performance for In the Rough. She won an overnight stakes at Gulfstream in February and needed the next two races to regroup.

"Hopefully, we are back going in the right direction," Breen said.

Lighthouse: Just Jenda 3 for 3 here

Just Jenda returns to her favorite track for the $100,000 Lighthouse Stakes for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. The 4-year-old is unbeaten in three starts at Monmouth, all stakes: the Serena's Song and the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks last year, and Monmouth Beach on May 30.

Just Jenda is owned by Larry and Cindy Jones, with Cindy taking over the training this year following Larry's retirement.

The tough Lighthouse lineup also includes Grade 2 winner Malibu Prayer for leading trainer Todd Pletcher, last year's Lighthouse winner Ask the Moon, 2007 Monmouth Oaks winner Talkin About Love, the 2009 Molly Pitcher winner Luna Vega, and Don't Forget Gil who missed by a neck last year in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks.