06/25/2009 11:00PM

New game for Lady Alexander


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Bruce Alexander is a bit superstitious when it comes to naming horses, especially when the name is a bit too familiar.

"I generally let my owners and my wife do it," Alexander said. "They are more creative. I always felt putting your name in it hinders your chances of having a good one."

So far, the karma has been all positive for his namesake, Lady Alexander, heading into the $60,000 Crank It Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf Sunday at Monmouth Park.

She is 2 for 4 following a dominant first-level allowance win on the lead here opening weekend, earning a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure that is also the top last-race number in the field.

Lady Alexander faces an obstacle in this spot: a lack of stakes and grass experience. The race might be an ambitious reach, but Alexander searched far and wide for an alternative.

"I couldn't find a race on the dirt that was more suitable," Alexander said. "I looked at Delaware, Philadelphia, and New York couldn't find a good option."

He had picked out a second-level turf race here two weeks ago to give Lady Alexander a test run on grass, but lost that opportunity when the race came off the turf and the filly developed a mild cough.

"I hated to miss out on a small field but I had to scratch," Alexander said. "We did the conservative thing."

Lady Alexander bounced back from the ailment in fine form, turning in a bullet workout Thursday, three furlongs in 36 seconds - the fastest of 19 breezes at the distance.

Like Lady Alexander, Love That Dance will be making her grass debut. She dominated older New Jersey-bred fillies and mares last time out in the Open Mind Handicap here on May 31.

Frolic's Dream, also making the transition to turf, could be the key horse. Her last four races were graded stakes, including a victory in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Following a barn change from Marty Wolfson to Barclay Tagg, Frolic's Dream was badly outrun the last two times, by Justwhistledixie in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream, and by Flashing in the Nassau County in the mud at Belmont Park.

Girlfrienontheside, Iberian Gate, and Sandi's Ready already own grass victories.

Completing the field are Snow Lass, A Day for Dancing, and Clear Cut.