Mobil, winner of the 2003 Plate Trial Stakes with Todd Kabel up.
On Saturday, the most important prep race for the Queen's Plate was contested at Woodbine. The 61st running of the Plate Trial, traditionally run three weeks before the Plate at 1 1/8 miles, a furlong shorter than the Plate, drew a compact field of six. Sent off as the 4-5 odds on favorite was Mobil, coming off five first place finishes, with stakes wins in the Cup and Saucer and the Queenston Stakes to his credit (in the Coronation Futurity he dead-heated for the win but was disqualified to second). Regular rider Todd Kabel was in the irons once again. The 3-2 second choice was the Frank Stronach-owned Rock Again, whose sire Awesome Again won the Queen's Plate at 3 and the Breeders' Cup Classic at 4. Top Florida jockey Eibar Coa shipped in for the ride on Rock Again.
Mike Keogh, trainer of Mobil.
Winning trainer Mike Keogh said, "I was very impressed, he ran huge. He gave him a great ride. Looking at the race, I thought, 'Uh-oh,' but Todd said he still had horse under him. Obviously, he did. It's entirely up to Todd to decide who he'll ride [Mobil or Wando, in the Queen's Plate]. He proved he's a good horse, but we knew that last year. He galloped out strongly again today."
Purse: $150,000 Added Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Mobil Kabel 3.60 2.20 2.10 5 Rock Again Coa 2.50 2.20 3 Peef Montpellier 3.50
Mobil takes off and retakes the lead from Rock Again in the stretch to win. His jockey Todd Kabel said, "I had a great trip. We dominated the whole race. 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.'"
Jockey Eibar Coa aboard second place finisher Rock Again, shown here in the walking ring, said, "I really had a good trip and my horse broke the way I wanted him to. I put him in the position I wanted to be. By the 1/16 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, so I just took a shot to get him behind me to what would happen. The other horse was better than mine today."
Third place finisher Peef heads to the paddock for saddling before the race. His jockey Constant Montpellier said, "My horse ran a good race. He just seems to me like he's a one-paced type of horse and when they accelerated in the stretch, he couldn't keep up. He ran a good third."
Queen's Plate info online:
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