Mobil, unbeaten in two stakes starts this year including the Plate Trial Stakes, is the 2-1 morning line choice for Sunday's $1,000,000 (Canadian) Queen's Plate at Woodbine. An Ontario homebred for Gustav Schickendanz, Mobil pulled away from his rivals in the nine-furlong Plate Trial and gets an additional furlong to work with on Sunday. The son of Langfuhr will face 12 other 3-year-olds in the 144th running of the Queen's Plate.
Regular rider Todd Kabel has the mount for trainer Michael Keogh, who has a huge upper hand in the race because he also will saddle stablemate Wando, the 7-2 second choice. Mobil drew a middle-of-the-pack 6 post position. Wando, a winner of the 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes in his last start for Schickedanz, will break from post 4 and also has Kabel named to ride, though Kabel will stick with Mobil.
"He (Mobil) seems like a little bit more mature horse right now," Kabel said at a post position press conference on Thursday. "I think he's a solid horse to get the distance. Distance is a big factor and carrying (126 pounds) is He's already carried it. We're just hoping for the trip now."
After breaking his maiden against stakes company in the Simcoe Stakes last September, Mobil has finished first five times in a row. He was disqualified from first after the Coronation Futurity last November. Elevated to first that afternoon was Arco's Gold, who will break from post 8 in the Queen's Plate under Constant Montpellier and is 8-1 on the morning line.
Arco's Gold is trained by John Ross, who also has Dance Engagement in the Plate. Ross, a former exercise rider, had his best year as a trainer in 2002, with just under $2 million in earnings. He won six stakes last year, including the Plate Trial with Shaws Creek.
Third choice on the morning line is Stronach Stable's Rock Again. A home bred son of Awesome Again, Rock Again broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park in March, then came back to win an allowance race at Woodbine on April 26. He was second to Mobil in the Plate Trial in his last start.
A horse to watch might be Shoal Water, a Sam-Son Farm homebred son of Smart Strike. Pitched in stakes company in two starts while still a maiden by trainer Mark Frostad, Shoal Water won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on May 30 at Woodbine in his last start. Eibar Coa will ride the sophomore for the first time on Sunday afternoon.
QUEEN'S PLATE, Woodbine, 1 1/4 miles, $1,000,000 (Canadian), Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, 126 pounds
Post time: 5:07 p.m. EDT
Post,Horse, Jockey, ML Odds
1, El Gran Maestro, Jono C. Jones, 50-1
2, Peef, Steven Bahen, 15-1
3, Sircharlesschnabel, Richard Dos Ramos, 20-1
4, Wando, Todd Kabel, 7-2
5, Solihull, Dino Luciani, 30-1
6, Mobil, Todd Kabel, 2-1
7, Button Wood, Chantal Sutherland, 15-1
8, Arco's Gold, Constant Montpellier, 8-1
9, Rock Again, Eibar Coa, 4-1
10, Shoal Water, Robert Landry, 15-1
11, Rockfield, David Clark, 30-1
12, Illusive Force, David Wilson, 20-1
13, Dance Engagement, James McAleney, 30-1