Mobil Tries to Make Grade in Sky Classic

(from Woodbine report)
A-plus. That's the grade trainer Mike Keogh gives to his versatile 3-year-old Mobil, whose next test comes in the form of the $271,750 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) Sunday at Woodbine.

Courtesy of four wins from five starts, Mobil has $589,445 in earnings on the season for owner Gus Schickedanz. While most racing aficionados will likely associate Mobil with his second-place finish in this year's Queen's Plate, Keogh sees the son of Langfuhr in a somewhat different regard.

"I'd give him an A-plus for sure," stated Keogh, of the Queenston, Plate Trial, Toronto Cup and Halton Stakes champion. "I think he'll run a big race in the Sky Classic. He's training great heading into it. He worked three-quarters (six furlongs) in 1:12 2/5. I clocked him galloping out the mile in 1:40. I don't think they were running that quick in the afternoon. He worked very well."

The bay colt comes into the 1 3/8-mile added-money turf event off a 3 ½-length score in the Halton on Sept. 1 at the Toronto oval, a pleasing wire-to-wire effort over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

This time, however, the competition is much tougher, including last year's Sky Classic winner, the formidable Strut the Stage. Conditioner Michael Dickinson starts Bowman Mill.

"We're just going in here (Sky Classic) to see how he fits against horses like Strut the Stage," said Keogh, who will also send out Wild Strike, with Emile Ramsammy in the irons. "This will give us an idea, later on down the road this season, what we should be doing. That's really the reason why he's in here."

In an intriguing plot twist, Mobil, a lifetime winner of seven races from 12 starts, won't have the services of regular rider Todd Kabel. Woodbine's leading jockey will climb aboard Strut the Stage, while Patrick Husbands, who won the Triple Crown with Wando, will get the call on his stablemate, Mobil, for the first time.

In four lifetime starts on the turf, all at Woodbine, Mobil has three wins, good enough for $327,585 in earnings.

$271,750 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II), 3 & up, 1 3/8 mile on turf
PP / Horse / Trainer / Jockey
1 / Mobil / Mike Keogh / Patrick Husbands
2 / Bowman Mill / Michael Dickinson / Brice Blanc
3 / Strut the Stage / Mark Frostad / Todd Kabel
4 / Lenny the Lender / Richard Jukosky / Chantal Sutherland
5 / Wild Strike / Mike Keogh / Emile Ramsammy
6 / Destiny Red / Mark Frostad / Rui Pimentel