06/26/2010 11:00PM

Way With Words steps up in Open Mind


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Filly and mare sprinters are in the spotlight Sunday at Monmouth Park in a pair of $100,000 stakes.

Way With Words, a dominant winner against New Jersey-breds in the Open Mind Handicap on June 13, returns to open company in the Blue Sparkler at six furlongs.

Dattt Echo adds blinkers and shortens up to 5 1/2 furlongs in the Crank It Up for 3-year-olds on the turf.

Way With Words scored her 10th win in the Open Mind. A versatile 6-year-old trained by Mary Eppler, she has been effective going long and short on dirt and turf and will have the rail Sunday.

Way With Words will have a tougher assignment in the Blue Sparkler than in the Open Mind. The field includes Saarlight, fourth most recently in the Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park, and a pair of uncoupled last-out winners for trainer Steve Klesaris: Casanova Killer and Earle's First Girl.

The status of Lady Alexander, winner of the Red Cross Stakes here earlier this month, was uncertain. Trainer Bruce Alexander said he was leaning toward withdrawing her from this race in favor of the Miss Liberty Stakes on the grass July 4.

"If I'm going to stretch my horse out where the big money is, the grass is where I should go," Alexander said. "I am thinking very strongly about scratching out of the race. Defections and weather could change my mind, but the race, as it stands, is a grueling race."

The Crank It Up also looks like a demanding race with nine entered for the turf dash.

Dattt Echo, fifth here in the Little Silver Stakes at one mile last time out, will cut back in an effort to improve her finishing punch.

"She has handled the turf well," said Rob Rader, assistant to trainer Mark Hennig. "The last eighth or sixteenth of a mile is tough for her. We're going to shorten her up to see if it will help. She's got enough speed for 5 1/2 furlongs. The two turns just seem to be a little too far for her."

Eddie Castro, who also rides Way With Words, will be aboard Dattt Echo in search of a stakes double.

Ultimate Class takes the biggest drop in the Crank It Up field. She set the pace last time in the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont before fading to seventh.