Mobil Moves to Head of Plate Class with Trial Win

Gustav Schickedanz's Mobil made his case for Queen's Plate favoritism stronger Saturday, edging away from Rock Again in deep stretch win Saturday's $162,200 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine.

Todd Kabel squeezed a 1 1/2-length triumph from the bay Ontario-bred colt by Langfuhr at odds of 4-5 for trainer Mike Keough. The time was 1:51 4/5 for the nine furlongs on a fast track. It was nine lengths back to Peef in third. Six three-year-olds competed.

But after Mobil collared Sonofawac at the six-furlong call following fractions of :23 3/5, :47 1/5 and 1:12, it soon became a two-horse race. Mobil and Rock Again, ridden by Eibar Coa, exchanged leads in the stretch before Mobil gained the advantage in the final 70 yards,

Kabel said it wasn't as close as it appeared.

"We dominated the whole race," he said. "I had a lot of horse. I didn't want to let Rock Again get too far in front of us because I have a lot of respect for that horse. Once my horse kicked in at the 3/16ths pole, I said, 'This race is all over."

Coa saw things much the same way.

"By the sixteenth pole, I went by (Mobil) thinking it was the only chance that I had to beat him. He had so much horse left that if I stayed behind him I would never go by him. I know if I stayed next to (Mobil) he would have beaten me anyway.
The other horse (Mobil) was better than mine today."

Keough wasn't so sure.

"Looking at the race, I thought, 'Uh-oh,' but Todd said he still had horse under him," the trainer said. "Obviously, he did."

Kabel now has the option of both leading Queen's Plate contenders – Mobil or Wando.

"It's entirely up to Todd to decide who he'll ride ," Keough said. "He proved he's a good horse, but we knew that last year. He galloped out strongly again today."

Mobil, who won Queenston Stakes in his seasonal debut May 3, earned $97,320 for the win.

The winner paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10. Rock Again returned $2.50 and $2.20. Peef showed for $3.50. The $2 exacta was worth $6.60.

Earlier on the Woodbine card, Stronach Stables' Hour of Justice justified her 6-5 odds in the $110,000 Alywow Stakes for three-year-old fillies, drawing off to an emphatic score.

At the wire, the Kentucky-bred filly, ridden by Jim McAleney, was two lengths ahead of a fast-closing Teewee's Hope, the longest shot on the board at 34-1. Miss Crissy wound up third. The time for the six and one-half furlong affair on the turf was 1:17.37.

With the winning purse of $66,000, Hour of Justice pushed her career bankroll to $167,460.

She paid $4.50, $3.80 and $2.90 across the board, combining with Teewee's Hope (19.00, $11.70) for a $128.30 exacta. With Miss Crissy ($7.90 to show), the trifecta returned $1,369.20.

(Chart, Equibase)