07/07/2009 11:00PM

Time's right for Helen's the One


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The last race by Helen's the One was better than it appears on paper.

That has trainer Buddy Carlesimo in an upbeat mood as the 5-year-old heads to a $52,000 second-level allowance for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares Friday at Monmouth Park.

The six-furlong race drew a field of seven, with Helen's the One landing the outside post with Shannon Uske, as usual, set to ride.

Helen's the One was a fading fifth last time out in a similar spot on June 25. The result was tempered by the fact that she suffered an injury during the contest.

"Helen is doing good," Carlesimo said. "She bruised her foot in the last race. She was lame after the race, but she's doing good right now. She got sawed off in there. She jumped up and landed a little awkwardly."

The timing could be right for a big effort. It was roughly the same period as last year when Helen's the One launched one of the best stretches of her career: a four-race run in which she earned a win and three seconds.

From the outside, Helen's the One figures to be part of the early pace.

"She doesn't seem to want to close much anymore," Carlesimo said of the 5-year-old. "You gotta go from out there."

Livin Fastforward also looks to be a pace factor - one that can last, with 3 wins in her last 4 races.

Say It With a Kiss figures to be a closer looking to reel in the leaders. The 4-year-old makes her third start of the season for trainer Joe Pierce Jr.

In her season debut, Say It With a Kiss was a distant second behind a 15 1/4-length romp by Ever Always. Most recently, she kicked home from seventh to get third in a nine-horse race. In this more compact field, Say It With a Kiss figures to lay closer to the pace. Carlos Marquez Jr. will ride.

Little Stitch is the newcomer to this level. The lone 3-year-old in the race, she is 2-1-1 in 4 starts for trainer Ben Perkins Jr.

This is her third start of the season. After getting third in her first race of the year, Little Stitch delivered a strong-first level win with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 73. Chuckie Lopez has the return call.

Completing the field are Yankee Empress, Dakota Doll, and Private Miracle.