Four years after watching Woodcarver win the 1999 Queenston Stakes, Trainer Mike Keogh and owner Gustav Schickedanz were in familiar territory on Saturday, as Mobil captured the 2003 edition of the $160,500 race at Woodbine.
In 1999, the pair also directed their stable star to a win in the Queen's Plate. After Mobil's impressive score in his seasonal debut, there are many reasons to believe that feat could be repeated this year.
Ridden by Todd Kabel, Mobil stalked the early pace set by Shipman through fractions of :23.29, :46.86 and 1:11.76. Kept three wide around the final turn, Kabel and his sophomore appeared to be struggling to make up any ground on the front-runners. As the field turned into the stretch, Mobil came storming home to capture the race, and impress his rider.
"I was just a little concerned around the turn," said Kabel. "Once I got him straightened up down the lane, he switched leads, got straightened out and fired like a real good horse. He's always been a big baby, always waiting for horses, but today he showed that he's really moved on from a two-year-old to a three-year-old. When I asked him to kick in, he kicked in and galloped out real strong."
Mobil, a son of Langfuhr, completed the seven-furlong race for Canadian-bred three-year-olds in 1:24.26 over a main track rated fast, defeating race favorite Quiet Dare by a length. Both horses are considered serious threats for the Queen's Plate, which is set to be contested on June 22 at 1 1/4 miles.
"He rated nicely for Todd down the backside," said Keogh, who also trains Plate contender Wando. "He ran a nice race. I was very happy with it. We'll see how he comes out of it and work from there."
In victory, Mobil returned $5.00, $2.70 combining with Quiet Dare ($2.60) for a $8.30 exacta. Awesome Action finished third in the compact five-horse field.