Trainer Wishes Wando Better Pace in Woodstock

(from track report)
Trainer Mike Keogh has a simple wish list for Saturday's running of the $135,875 Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine, when Queen's Plate Winterbook favorite Wando gets his second test of the season.

After finishing a battling second to 21-1 shot Majestic Wisdom in the Achievement Stakes on March 30 at the Toronto oval, Keogh is anticipating an even stronger effort from the son of Langfuhr in the six-furlong Woodstock.

"I was pleased with the way he ran in the Achievement, but I knew he needed to get a race under him," said the veteran conditioner, referring to the chestnut colt's neck loss. "He's definitely coming into this race in good order and I expect him to run well."

The key to victory this time around, says, Keogh, is to have the lifetime winner of three assume the role of pursuer and not as leader.

"I think he made the lead too soon in his last race, so this time I'd like to see him stay off the pace and come with a strong run," said Keogh, of the Vandal and Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes winner. "It appears this race has more speed to run at."

Of his six Woodstock rivals, four have shown a preference for a front-running style, a situation that could increase Wando's ability to generate a strong, late kick in the one-turn tilt.

While Keogh is quick to dole out praise for the Ontario-bred, he's not quite convinced the Gus Schickedanz star is destined for a run in the Queen's Plate June 22 at Woodbine.

"I don't think he can get that distance (1 ΒΌ-mile), but I could be wrong," offered Keogh. "We'll have to see how things pan out."

$135,875 Woodstock Stakes, 3-year-olds, 6 furlongs
PP / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Biddy's Lad / Chantal Sutherland / Mike Doyle
2 / El Ruller / Ray Sabourin / Arthur Silvera
3 / Aba Daba Doo / David Clark / Robert Tiller
4 / Mazengah / Slade Callaghan / Roger Attfield
5 / Wando / Todd Kabel / Mike Keogh
6 / I'm The Tiger / Rob Landry / Malcolm Pierce
7 / Soitenly / Dino Luciani / Robert Tiller