Just days before the running of the $160,800 Vigil Stakes (Can-III), trainer Mike Keogh termed Mobil a "forgotten horse." That won't be the case after the son of the 4-year-old, five-star debut of the son of Langfuhr Saturday afternoon at Woodbine.Gus Schickedanz's multi-talented bay Ontario-bred made his 2004 a bow a winning one, defeating four rivals, including sprint specialist and six-furlong track record holder Chris's Bad Boy.Regular rider Todd Kabel rode Mobil to the 1 3/4-length victory."He's really grown and matured into his body," said Kabel, last year's leading rider at Woodbine, who picked up his first stakes score of the season in the seven-furlong Vigil. "He's much stronger than he was last year and hopefully, we're looking at a good year with this horse."A stablemate of 2003 Triple Crown champion Wando, Mobil settled just off an honest early pace of :22.86 and :45.02 seconds, set by Chris's Bad Boy and Anglian Prince. After watching the early duel, Kabel and a willing Mobil passed a tiring Anglian Prince and seized the lead from 'Chris' in mid-stretch to cruise to a comfortable win in a sharp 1:21.81, the fastest Vigil clocking in the past seven years.Chris's Bad Boy, who came into the event on a five-race unbeaten streak, finished second, four lengths ahead of Awesome Action.Keogh was equally pleased with the effort from Mobil and the man in the irons.
"I spoke with Todd in the paddock and we didn't want to try and mess with Chris's Bad Boy early because that's not our game. We just wanted to be close enough to close on him. Todd was still motionless at the three-eighths pole which made me very happy."The veteran conditioner is looking forward to the rest of the 2004 season with one of Canada's top Thoroughbreds. "Every time he comes out, he shows up, digs in and fights hard," said Keogh, of the lifetime winner of nine races from 15 starts. "He's just a lovely horse." The Vigil victory, worth $$96,480, raised Mobil's lifetime earnings to an impressive $1,164,191.Mobil returned $5.50 and $2.60, combining with 1-2 favorite Chris's Bad Boy ($2.10) for a $8.50 exacta. There was no show wagering.(Chart, Equibase)