For the first seven starts of her career, Exchanging Fire showed just average speed, winning only one race, a modest $18,500 maiden claimer at Calder Race Course.
But beginning in late March, something must have clicked in the daughter of Exchange Rate, as she showed an early burst that had been unseen before. Six starts and four wins later, the 3-year-old filly is rolling toward her first graded stakes victory as she headlines a field of six in the $200,000 Monmouth Park Breeders’ Cup Oaks on Aug. 12.
Bred in Florida, Exchanging Fire has won two consecutive stakes tries at Monmouth, by a combined eight-and-a-quarter lengths. In her four victories this year – all on the dirt – the dark bay filly has won the same way, by jumping right to the lead and then opening up down the stretch. Most recently, she won the Serena‘s Song Stakes at a mile and 70 yards while never being challenged. Her upset victory in the Without Feathers Stakes June 23 came at odds of nearly 30-1.
Trained by Stephen Mick, Exchanging Fire was claimed for $50,000 in early March for Kenwood Racing. She has earned over $100,000 since then.
The 1 1/16-mile BC Oaks also includes Talkin About Love, another promising filly who seems to have found her groove. The homebred daughter of Not For Love has ripped off four straight wins, all in allowance company and all at Monmouth. Her latest score was at a distance of a mile for trainer Kevin Sleeter. It was a 10-length victory.
Also with quick early speed, Talkin About Love and Exchanging Fire could engage in an early pace duel. That could bode well for closers Lady Marlboro and Adhrhythm, who have shown their best form while coming from off the pace.
Rounding out the field are Scooter Girl and Suzy Smart.
Post time is 4:24 p.m. EDT.