For years, the name Mike Keogh has been linked to top-class racehorses owned by Gus Schickedanz. Names like Langfuhr, Woodcarver, and 2003 Canadian Triple Crown champion Wando come to mind.A new era for the trainer dawned on the Simcoe Holiday Monday when he collected his first stakes win for another high-profile owner, Stronach Stables, as Hour Of Justice scored won the $217,550 Royal North Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine.The 4-year-old daughter of Lit de Justice is hardly a rags-to-riches story, as she now has six wins and two seconds in eight career starts and was the heavy favorite to collect the Royal North title. Still, the Kentucky-bred was outstanding in the six-furlong turf race under Todd Kabel, stopping the teletimer in a stakes record 1:07.83.The mark was just one-fifth of a second off the course record of 1:07.63, set by Spring Barley on September 5, 2001.American invaders With Patience and Boozin' Susan filled out the place and show spots in the Royal North."I didn't expect her to win so easily," Keogh, who still trains the Schickedanz string, said. "She was really impressive, though. She sure is a nice filly. The ship-ins looked tough, but this filly did it very easily."Kabel, who continues to dominate the stakes calendar at Woodbine with his 18th added win of the meet in the Royal North, anticipated a big race from the bay."She's very professional about everything," Kabel said. "Her last work was terrific (six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 last Sunday). It was everything I had to do to hold her from getting away from me. I expected a big race out of her today."
The 2003 Alywow Stakes winner was turned over to Keogh earlier this year after Reade Baker saddled her in 2002 and 2003. Hour of Justice is now two-for-two for Keogh, after she also took the prep for the Royal North on July 11.Hour of Justice now has career earnings of $388,285 after cashing the $100,530 payday in the Royal North.She paid $3.60, $2.60, $2.40 across the board and combined with With Patience ($6.40, $3.70) for a $19.20 exacta. Boozin' Susan ($3.00) was another 1 3/4 lengths back and rounded out a 4-5-8 trifecta that paid $54.10.