10/02/2008 11:00PM

Southern Exchange takes aim at Cup


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's $250,000 Grey Stakes is not a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In race, but trainer Greg De Gannes is hoping a strong showing from Southern Exchange will get the colt into the BC Juvenile field on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Southern Exchange is the leading 2-year-old at Woodbine. He won his first three starts convincingly, including the five-furlong Victoria Stakes and the six-furlong Colin Stakes.

Southern Exchange didn't disgrace himself last time out in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. He pressed the pace along the inside in that seven-furlong sprint and only weakened late to end up fourth. Street Hero, the third-place finisher, came back to capture the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes.

De Gannes believes a route of ground won't be a problem for Southern Exchange.

"He's galloped out spectacular after all of his races and works," De Gannes said. "I think his pedigree begets a lot more ground. His older half-brother, who races in Barbados, his best trip is over nine furlongs."

There's not much speed in the 1 1/16-mile Grey, and Southern Exchange could inherit the lead, something De Gannes doesn't want to see.

"I'd prefer to see him sitting in a stalking position," he said.

Mine That Bird took the 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy Stakes in August. He won his second consecutive stakes most recently in the seven-furlong Swynford, coming wide to prevail by a neck over Win and Reign.

"I was impressed with the last part of [the Swynford] - how he dug in and the grit he showed," trainer David Cotey said. "He was up pretty close to the pace, which was a new experience for him. He's usually on the inside, then circles and makes a run."

Cotey describes Mine That Bird as a laid-back horse who possesses the tools to negotiate a route of ground.

"In his races, he usually settles behind horses, and you can do whatever you want with him," Cotey said. "He's a beautiful-striding horse, and his pedigree says that he should go long."

Stimulus Plan graduated second time out by eight lengths in a mile and 70-yard maiden special Sept. 12.

"I think he could be a really nice horse," trainer Mark Casse said. "I was impressed with his last race. He acted up a bit in the gate and got left. I'm not sure he beat a whole lot, but he did it with authority."

Bear's Conductor won his maiden on the lead over seven furlongs in his second start. He made a mild wide bid from off slow factions to finish fourth in the Swynford.

Bear's Conductor has a license to handle a route of ground, being by Grade 1 Cigar Mile winner Congaree and out of a stakes-placed router.

Dance Into Heaven got away slowly before closing wide for a neck loss in his only outing, which came over a mile and 70 yards.