06/12/2008 11:00PM

Two shots to complete three-peat


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Steve Asmussen has won the last two runnings of the $150,000 Victoria Stakes, with Chace City and last year's Canadian champion 2-year-old, Kodiak Kowboy. He will go for the three-peat Sunday at Woodbine when he sends out Segal and Yo Joe in the five-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds.

Segal was the heavy favorite when he debuted in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race on the dirt at Churchill Downs. After tracking the early pace, he took control on the turn and went on to prevail by 4 3/4 lengths, earning an 80 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I watched his race, and he did it the right way," said assistant trainer Steve Flint. "He laid a little bit off the pace, and he quickened real well down the lane."

Flint said Segal has done well since shipping to Woodbine, and he had a couple of maintenance works over Polytrack.

"He seems very professional," Flint said. "He trained on the Polytrack at Keeneland before he ever ran, and he's quite used to the surface. He was in terrific shape when Steve sent him to me. I've maintained what Steven's done with him. He obviously has a pretty good handle on what it takes to win this race."

Yo Joe finished a distant fifth in his first start going 4 1/2-furlongs at Keeneland. He cut back to two furlongs for his local debut, and won easily in a time of 21.38.

"He got into a little trouble first time out at Keeneland," said Flint.

Southern Exchange is coming off a track-record performance, and should be a major player. With Jono Jones aboard for his May 18 debut, Southern Exchange ran 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.23, and got a 77 Beyer.

Southern Exchange's trainer Greg De Gannes said he likes the timing of the Victoria.

"It's worked out well," said De Gannes. "He had two weeks off after his race. He came back with a very strong breeze, and his breeze last week was very good. Jono's been extremely happy with him. He can place him where he wants. He's matured since his race, and has put on weight."

Rounding out the field are Dicey Riley and first-time starter Again Please. Kentucky shipper Dicey Riley led throughout a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special at Keeneland in his only outing, covering the distance in a swift 50.66.