07/20/2008 11:00PM

Southern Exchange goes to head of the class


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Southern Exchange underlined his status as the top 2-year-old on the grounds with his 3 1/4-length victory here in last Saturday’s $151,300 Colin Stakes.

But despite the winning margin success did not come easily for Southern Exchange, who ran his record to 3 for 3 and registered his second straight stakes score in the six-furlong Colin.

Southern Exchange, who broke from the inside post in the field of six, had nowhere to go through the early stages of the Colin, but his regular rider, Jono Jones, drove the colt through a hole entering the stretch and they quickly took command.

“Squeezing through that hole, you don’t see a lot of seasoned older horses do that,” said said Greg De Gannes, who trains Southern Exchange for Bill and Vicki Poston.

“He showed determination.”

Southern Exchange is a Florida-bred, and the next open stakes for the division, the Aug. 23 Silver Deputy at 6 1/2 furlongs, is an overnight race and would need a field of at least five to be carded.

The seven-furlong Swynford, on Sept. 14, also appears a viable local option. “There’s a good program for him here,” said De Gannes. “If there was a guarantee the Swynford would go, you would stay here.”

Without that guarantee, De Gannes could be looking south, with races such as Saratoga’s 6 1/2-furlong Hopeful on Sept. 1, Belmont’s seven-furlong Futurity on Sept. 13, and Arlington’s one-mile Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 13 on the radar.

“He’ll stretch out, he’ll have no problem with that,” said De Gannes. “That’s a guarantee.”

Astrotime also impressive in debut

De Gannes unveiled another promising 2-year-old here Saturday as Astrotime, a filly he trains for Andrew Fredericks, was a five-length winner of her six-furlong debut at 27-1.

“I always liked this filly. I really don’t know how she was that price,” said De Gannes. “She’s a top-class filly, and I think she’ll be better when she stretches out and goes on the grass.”

Sam-Son and Frostad spring 30-1 shot

Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad winning with a 30-1 shot certainly isn’t an everyday occurrence here.

But that was the case on Saturday when Mulmur, ridden for the first time by Eurico Rosa da Silva, returned $64.90 after rolling to a two-length victory in the $102,400 Ontario Jockey Club.

Mulmur, a 5-year-old gelding, was recording his first stakes win and earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 99 for his victory in the OJC, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and up.

“He’s been running pretty well on Poly, and he’s better on turf,” said Frostad, noting that Mulmur’s three previous starts at the meeting had come in main-track sprints. “Everything just worked out for him Saturday.”

Frostad, who was sending out his first stakes winner of the meeting, now will point Mulmur to the Grade?2, $200,000 Play the King, a seven-furlong turf race here Aug. 23.

The Play the King has been the major local prep for the Grade 1, $1?million Woodbine Mile, which will be run just two weeks later on Sept. 7.

Northern Kraze in Wonder Where

Frostad also is looking forward to running Northern Kraze in Saturday’s $250,000 Wonder Where for 3-year-old fillies.

Northern Kraze had her final major tune-up on the main track here Sunday morning, working five furlongs in 1:01 under regular rider Chantal Sutherland.

“She worked really well, and galloped out strongly,” said Frostad.

The Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race, follows the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and the 1 1/16-mile Bison City as the third leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

“I don’t know about the distance, but I know she likes the grass,” said Frostad.

Northern Kraze rebounded from a 10th-place finish in the June 8 Woodbine Oaks to win her maiden over one mile of turf here July 1.

Nicki Knew preps for Wonder Where

Nicki Knew, who ran fifth in the Woodbine Oaks but was a smart winner of the June 29 Bison City, tuned up for the Wonder Where, working four furlongs in 47.60 seconds on the main track here Monday morning.

“She worked well,” said Kevin Attard, who conditions Nicki Knew for Knob Hill Stable. “She’s doing good. We just wanted to keep her happy.”

Owned by Knob Hill Stable, Nicki Knew will be making her turf debut in the Wonder Where.

Other Wonder Where workers

Victory Romance, Initforreal, Wind in My Wings, and Roses N Wine prepped for the Wonder Where over the main track here Sunday.

Victory Romance, who ran second in the Woodbine Oaks and third in the Bison City, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 under regular rider Emile Ramsammy.

Initforreal, who was fourth in the Woodbine Oaks and fifth in the Bison City, breezed six furlongs in 1:14.80 with her usual rider Constant Montpellier in the irons.

Victory Romance and Initforreal also will be trying turf for the first time in the Wonder Where.

Wind in My Wings, who won the Jessamine over 1 1/16 miles of turf at Keeneland last fall, but has been unplaced in three 2008 outings, was clocked in 1:03.20 for five furlongs under exercise rider Cassie Garcia.

Roses ‘N’ Wine, another who has not raced on turf, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 under rider Tyler Pizarro while going in company with stablemate Galipette, a 4-year-old maiden

Reverently had her Wonder Where breeze last Saturday with five furlongs in 1:02 under rider Justin Stein, who was irons when the filly dead- heated for the win last time out in a one-mile maiden turf race here July 1.

* Jiggs Coz and True Metropolitan, the 1-2 finishers in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day here July 1, both breezed Sunday morning in preparation for their rematch in Sunday’s $150,000 Seagram Cup at 1 1/16 miles.

Jiggs Coz went six furlongs in 1:15.80 under regular rider David Clark, while True Metropolitan was timed in 1:00.80 for five furlongs under Jim McAleney.