08/18/2010 2:04PM

Becky's Exchange could be ready to peak in turf feature


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Trainer Mary Hartmann hopes a third-place finish by Becky’s Exchange in her comeback bodes well for Friday’s $84,000 third-level allowance for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Monmouth Park.

It is a true third-level event with none of the eight runners entered for the optional $62,500 claiming price.

Becky’s Exchange will make her third start for Hartmann after starting her career with Ned Allard. The 4-year-old Becky’s Exchange joined Hartmann’s barn at the end of last season and ran once in January at Gulfstream, finishing a tiring sixth.

In consultation with owners Patricia and Frank Generazio, Hartmann decided to give Becky’s Exchange a vacation.

“I just told Frank I thought she needed freshening,” Hartmann said. “Frank is the best with that.”

After a comeback spot at Monmouth failed to draw enough entrants, Hartmann sent Becky’s Exchange to Delaware Park, where she finished third, beaten less than one length, in a four-horse field on Aug. 5.

“She’s coming into this race well,” Hartmann said. “She ran well but she needed that race. She just didn’t have enough to get past the two in front of her.

“She’s been training well. I’m hoping for a positive experience on Friday.”

Becky’s Exchange is 1 for 4 on Monmouth’s turf course with the victory coming in the Desert Vixen Stakes for 3-year-olds last summer.

Elvis Trujillo, the rider in the Desert Vixen, reunites with Becky’s Exchange.

Ivory Empress has run twice at the meet, both times in turf stakes. She was never a factor sprinting in the Candy Eclair before setting the pace only to lose by 1 1/4 lengths to Breeders’ Cup winner Maram in the Miss Liberty Stakes at this same 1 1/16-mile distance on July 4th.

Carlos Marquez Jr. will be aboard for trainer Ian Wilkes.

Kiawah Cat has hit the board in three well-spaced second-level races this year for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

A rallying second last summer here in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs Stakes, Kiawah Cat missed by a nose in her season debut at Gulfstream Park in early February. She then finished third at Keeneland in mid-April before clearing her second allowance condition at Belmont Park on June 25.

Indy’s Alexandra will debut for trainer Bruce Levine following a transfer from Marty Wolfson’s barn in Florida.

Dancerina, Kristi With a K, Academicienne and Emily Allstar complete the field.