04/19/2012 12:56PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Jr's Exchange looks to repeat last in Saturday allowance


OLDSMAR Fla. – Jr’s Exchange, who set the track record for five furlongs on the turf in his last start, goes after his 10th win and fifth local turf tally on Saturday as he tops a strong field of optional allowance sprinters in the five furlong turf feature.

Jr’s Exchange was making his second start since July last time out and came up with a dazzling performance. He set a blistering pace that included a quarter of 21.21 and half of 43.31, then pulled away to be more than two lengths clear of Conech and Tudor King while covering the five furlongs in 54.92.

Trained by Gerald Bennett, Jr’s Exchange has a distinct fondness for the local turf course with four tallies from six outings over it. Last season he won three of five outings, and all three wins came locally with two over the turf course and one on the main track. LIfetime, Jr’s Exchange has won half of his 18 starts for earnings of $115,407.

Ronnie Allen Jr. will handle Jr’s Exchange.

Dream of Atlantis came again in the drive to take a similar five-furlong turf dash in his seasonal debut in February here, then was a pace factor into the stretch in a similar turf dash at Gulfstream Park before weakening to third in a race run in 55.60.

Conech has been given a short freshening since his last when he finished sixth behind Dream of Atlantis. Second to Jr’s Exchange two races back, Conech figures to be the main pace threat that one.

Duty Blues comes into Saturday’s feature off a late-running win going seven furlongs on the main track and gets Daniel Centeno again. Trained by Robert Smith, Duty Blues has a second and third from two lifetime starts on grass. Should the speed fail to hold up, he stands a good chance to make it two wins in a row.

Hold on Smokey was going well in the late stages of his last when second in an overnight handicap at Saturday’s distance. He has five wins from 14 tries on turf.

Hysterical Cat will be turning back in distance for his first start for new connections on Saturday. He won sprinting on the turf at Saratoga last summer.

Exchange the Limit has three wins sprinting on the turf and could also dispute the pace from his rail post under Angel Serpa.