06/06/2007 11:00PM

Six months later, rivals rematched


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Executive Choice and Soul Rebel, second and third while just a neck apart in the Dec. 3 Sir Barton Stakes, will meet again Saturday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes.

Executive Choice was recently sold, and is making his first start for trainer Reade Baker. He was previously based in New York with trainer Bruce Levine, who sent him out to finish just neck behind Arch Hall in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton.

Executive Choice subsequently finished third in two straight optional-claiming routes on the Aqueduct inner track. He was prominent early before fading to seventh here most recently in the six-furlong New Providence Stakes.

Like the Sir Barton and New Providence, the Steady Growth is restricted to Ontario-sired runners. Executive Choice's eligibility to those races made him an appealing prospect for Baker.

"They wanted to sell him, and we agreed on a price," said Baker. "It's hard to find horses to buy, and I thought he was worth the money."

Emile Ramsammy will ride Executive Choice, a 6-year-old gelding.

Soul Rebel has won 6 of 8 starts while being campaigned sporadically. He won his debut in October 2005, and then won an Ontario-sired allowance route seven weeks later.

Following another layoff, Soul Rebel captured a seven-furlong allowance for Ontario-sired stock in May 2006. He strung together four consecutive races during the second half of last year, which included a second-level allowance score on the Polytrack. In the Sir Barton, he made the lead in midstretch before weakening, and was beaten just a half-length.

Soul Rebel overcame serious traffic problems to take his season opener, a mile and 70-yard allowance, earning a career-high 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Jono Jones will ride Soul Rebel for trainer John Charalambous.

Bold Finish, an up-and-comer in the Ontario sire ranks, could be the third choice in the seven-horse field. Trained by Phil Gracey for owner Bill Diamant, Bold Finish has won his last two starts, both 1 1/16-mile allowances on the Poly.

V S O P Please, fourth in the New Providence, figures to be a speed threat in his first venture around two turns.

Millfleet and Bad Hat are both multiple stakes winners with poor current form.