06/15/2008 11:00PM

Southern Exchange hits a home run


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There were a couple of highly touted invaders in Sunday's $150,900 Victoria, as Dicey Riley shipped in for trainer Wesley Ward and Segal took up temporary residence in trainer Steve Asmussen's barn here.

But when the smoke had cleared, it was Southern Exchange, based at Woodbine with trainer Greg De Gannes, who won by daylight under jockey Jono Jones to run his record to 2 for 2.

Southern Exchange, a Florida-bred, is owned by Bill and Vicki Poston of Marietta, Ga.

"This is my first trip to Canada," said Bill Poston, as he celebrated Southern Exhange's success in the five-furlong Victoria. "This horse is unbelievable. I think he's going to go places."

De Gannes trains four horses for Poston, whom he met through Florida connections after the colt had been bought back at the March sale of 2-year-olds in training in Ocala, Fla.

"I knew he was something special when he stepped off the van," said De Gannes, a veterinarian who took out his trainer's license in 2004. "He's always been very, very forward and very sound. He continues to amaze me."

Southern Exchange's next major target will be the $150,000 Colin, an open six-furlong race for 2-year-olds here July 19.

"The schedule up here is quite good for young horses," said De Gannes. "It's an advantage, not having to ship right now."

Southern Exchange was the second stakes winner for De Gannes. He also sent out Mr. Pee Vee to win the $40,000 Rex's Profile at Calder in 2004.

Becky Sharp eyes Royal North next

Trainer Andrew Smith also got his second career stakes win, with Becky Sharp, who won the $100,800 Zadracarta, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares that was Sunday's supporting feature at Woodbine.

Smith's previous stakes winner, Sariphone, won the Briartic Handicap in the spring of 1997.

Breeder Patricia Martin owned Sariphone at the time, and also is the owner and breeder of Becky Sharp.

Becky Sharp, 6, was making her first start of the year in the Zadracarta for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares, and she was lightly regarded at 17-1.

"I would have liked to have had a race into her," said Smith "I would've felt more comfortable.

"But, I didn't think it was really necessary. She ran second in this stakes in her first start last year. She runs well fresh."

Becky Sharp's forte is as a turf sprinter, and her next major target is the Grade 3, $150,000 Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares here Aug. 2.

"There's not a whole lot left for her," said Smith. "She lost her last condition on Sunday."

London Snow back in limelight

London Snow was back in the spotlight here on Saturday, rallying from off the pace to give trainer John Charalambous and rider Steven Bahen their first stakes wins of the season in the $126,200 Ballade for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

"Everything worked out beautifully," said Charalambous, who trains London Snow for Kirk Bradden Stables Inc.

London Snow's victory in the six-furlong Ballade, her second in as many main-track sprints in two appearances this season, might give Charalambous pause when it comes to mapping out the rest of her 5-year-old campaign.

"There are so many races for her," he said. "But, this alters things. Do I go long with her now?"

There are no Ontario-sired filly and mare sprints left on the Woodbine stakes schedule, but London Snow can handle turf, and she could tackle bigger names in a race like the Royal North.

Jambalaya progresses toward return

Jambalaya, who has not raced since winning the Grade 1 Arlington Million last August, was on the work tab for the first time this year with a two-furlong breeze in 24.40 seconds on Saturday.

"He's been feeling so good that he was really telling us it was time to breeze," said Catherine Day Phillips, who trains Jambalaya for her family's Kingfield Racing Stable. "Hopefully, he'll start a breeze schedule now and we could have him back by the end of August.

"We'll just keep him moving forward until then."

Jambalaya, a 5-year-old gelding, was sidelined because of a deep bone bruise when preparing for last fall's Turf Classic at Belmont.

Shillelagh Slew gets ready

Shillelagh Slew breezed six furlongs in 1:14.80 on Saturday in preparation for the Grade 3, $150,000 Singspiel, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward that is one of the supporting features on Sunday's Queen's Plate card.

"He's doing super," said Mike DePaulo, who trains Shillelagh Slew for owner David James. "I'd like to have one more race under his belt, going a mile and a half, but what can you do?"

Shillelagh Slew, 5, has started once this year, finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup at 1 1/16 miles on turf here May 25.

Pellegrino also readies for Singspiel

Pellegrino, a 9-year-old horse and the defending champion in the Singspiel, breezed six furlongs in 1:15.20 on the training track turf course under Jono Jones here Sunday.

"He's doing great," said Roger Attfield. "He's a lovely old horse. He's very happy with himself."

Kentucky Bear headed to Virginia

Kentucky Bear breezed five furlongs in 1:00 on Saturday and left Monday for Virginia.

His target there is Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Colonial Turf Cup, a 1 3/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.

"I want to have him around the place for a few days, and school him in the paddock and at the gate," said Reade Baker, who trains Kentucky Bear for Danny Dion's Bear Stable.

Kentucky Bear last raced in the Preakness Stakes on May 17, finishing sixth in a nightmarish trip.