07/27/2009 11:00PM

Indycat finding a new gear on grass


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Ned Allard won the Desert Vixen Stakes last weekend at Monmouth Park with Becky's Exchange. Allard hopes to keep the good times rolling Thursday with Indycat in the $42,000 second-level allowance feature for fillies and mares going five furlongs on the turf.

Like Becky's Exchange, Indycat is filly who found her groove on grass. Both faced modest futures, at best, on dirt. Turf opened new worlds for both.

Becky's Exchange improved to 2 for 3 on the grass with the Desert Vixen victory over 3-year-old fillies.

"I thought she had a really good shot, and she ran super," Allard said.

Indycat, likewise, has picked up her game on turf, with a 1-1-2 mark in 4 tries.

While Becky's Exchange sprung the upset at 10-1, Indycat figures to be one of the favorites on Thursday. She turned in one of her strongest efforts last time out in a similar spot here, setting a pressured pace before missing by a half-length with personal-best Beyer Speed Figure of 82.

"Indycat was another filly who looked like she would be pretty ordinary on the dirt," Allard said. "The turf has certainly given her a new life. I thought her last race was an excellent effort. If she gives us that same effort, I think she'll be tough."

To keep her sharp, Allard has breezed the 4-year-old three times at Philadelphia Park since that last race on June 26. Stewart Elliott has the return call.

Thoroughly Holy and Tripped have two things in common. Both are stepping up following a first-level allowance win and both have raced exclusively on turf.

Thoroughly Holy, trained by Linda Rice, put in a determined effort last time from post 10 at Delaware Park, edging clear to a one-length victory to improve to 2 for 3. Leading rider Elvis Trujillo has the mount.

Tripped is unbeaten in two starts, both at Colonial Downs and for trainer Hamilton Smith.

Iberian Gate finished sixth in Monmouth's Crank It Up Stakes, snapping a two-race winning streak. As usual, Chris DeCarlo will be aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Exe switches back to the turf after finishing third in a second-level allowance. This will be her first grass sprint. Exe did win a statebred turf stakes at Calder in November at 1 1/16 miles.

Forever Grateful completes the field.