Mobil Rebounds from Queen's Plate Effort to win Toronto Cup

Edited from track reports
His runner-up Queen's Plate performance may have been a bit puzzling to his rider Todd Kabel, but there's never been any question about Mobil's desire and effort.

On Saturday at Woodbine, Mobil showed just what kind of a heart pumps within the colt as he pulled away in late stretch to win the featured CAN$164,100 Toronto Cup Handicap by one length, getting the 1 1/8-mile distance on a turf course listed as 'good', in 1:49.15. Strizzi outbattled Moonshine Hall by three-quarters of a length for the place award.

It wasn't his margin of victory that impressed. It was the manner in which the strapping bay son of Langfuhr did it, leading his five rivals for most of the way around, then seemingly giving it up to a charging Moonshine Hall in the final eighth, before storming back in the last 70 yards for the win.

Mobil had come into the Toronto Cup with two wins in three starts this year. He finished second to stablemate Wando, nine lengths in arrears, in the June 22 Queen's Plate, Canada's most famous horse race. Kabel chose Mobil as his Plate mount, while (rider) Patrick Husbands inherited Wando.

"We handicapped the (Toronto Cup) race and there was no speed in the race," said Kabel, celebrating a leading 12th stakes win at Woodbine. "We read it right. We were able to set the pace and do what we wanted to do. Turning for home I said, 'I'm going to drift out. I'm going to let him see these horses running at him.' I felt I was on the best horse in the race. There was no doubt in my mind, just hoping that things went well for him today. He showed that he was the best horse.

"I'm just thankful he came back and ran a big race today. (In) the Plate, he just wasn't himself."

The fractions may have told the Toronto Cup story. With Mobil carrying top weight of 122 pounds, Kabel eased him through a quarter in :24.41, a half in :48.20, then three-quarters in 1:12.41 seconds, before urging more from his mount turning for home.

In early stretch, Patrick Husbands had Moonshine Hall barreling down the middle, with Strizzi just inside of him, as the pair took dead aim on the leader. Moonshine Hall appeared to poke his head in front inside the eighth pole but Kabel then went to work on favoured Mobil, who came on again for his sixth lifetime win in 10 starts.

"I wasn't that worried about it (rain) when it was coming," said trainer Mike Keogh. "He won the Cup and Saucer on a yielding turf last year. I thought Todd gave him a brilliant ride. He slowed him right down early, then drifted off the rail a little bit and they followed him."

Mobil picked up a purse of CAN$98,460 for owner Gus Schickedanz to push his career bankroll to $806,626.

While Plate winner Wando readies for next Sunday's Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, Mobil's future is uncertain. If Wando wins the second leg of the Triple Crown to set up the August 9 Breeders' Stakes on the turf at Woodbine as his final hurdle, it's obviously unlikely that Keogh would send both Schickedanz runners to the post in the final jewel of the 'Crown.'

Mobil returned $3.80, $2.50 and $2.10, combining with Strizzi ($4.40, $2.60) for a $13.40 (2-5) exactor. A 2-5-4 (Moonshine Hall, $2.10 to show) triactor paid $17.40.

(Chart, Equibase)