07/26/2010 1:37PM

Breeders' not on the agenda for Golden Moka


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Brian Lynch may not be a magician by trade, but he definitely had an ace up his sleeve when he sent out Golden Moka for Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.

Purchased privately out of Panama on the advice of former jockey Rene Douglas, who was paralyzed in a racing accident at Arlington last spring, Golden Moka was making his first start in six months, his first beyond six furlongs, and his first in North America in the Prince of Wales.

Golden Moka made light of those details, however, by rolling to a 2 3/4-length victory in the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales and gave Fort Erie-based jockey Anthony Stephen the biggest win of his career.

“He certainly showed up for us,” said Lynch, who trains Golden Moka for a group known as Good Friend Stable in which Douglas holds a stake.

“I always had a feeling I’m better at getting a horse to run long off a layoff, rather than sprinting.”

Lynch welcomed Golden Moka into his stable in early May and shortly afterward the colt came down with a virus.

“Once he got over that, he never really missed a beat,” said Lynch, who sent out Golden Moka to work on a weekly schedule at Woodbine before shipping him down to Fort Erie for a sharp 1:25.20 seven-furlong drill a week prior to the Prince of Wales.

“Each work was more impressive than the last, and I was stretching him out,” Lynch said. “I knew he had speed, but he was showing me that he had no distance limitations.

“And I’ve always believed that a horse who works good going into a race will run a good race.”

The $500,000 Breeders’, a 1 1/2-mile turf race that follows the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales as the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, is not on Golden Moka’s agenda.

“In my experience, when a horse has run this big off a layoff it’s difficult to bring him back in three weeks,” Lynch said. “It would really set him up to bounce.

“We’ll take our time with him and try to find a spot where he can continue his winning ways.”

Mobil Unit points to Vice Regent

Mobil Unit, who ended a solid second in the Prince of Wales under jockey David Clark, is aiming for the $125,000 Vice Regent, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds here Sept. 5.

“I thought he ran his eyeballs out,” said trainer Mike Keogh, who had brought Mobil Unit into the Prince of Wales off a restricted allowance score at Woodbine.

Big Red Mike to get time off

Queen’s Plate winner Big Red Mike wound up third in the Prince of Wales, beaten 3 3/4 lengths under regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva.

“I thought that he was in a pretty good spot, once Eurico got him off the rail,” trainer Nick Gonzalez said. “But at the five-sixteenths pole, when he had to ask him, I knew we were in trouble.”

Gonzalez has no designs on the Breeders’ and will consider other options for his hard-knocking charge.

“It’s probably an appropriate time to give him some time off,” said Gonzalez, who mentioned the Sept. 25 Ontario Derby as a possible long-term target for Big Red Mike.

Hotep to work on the turf

Hotep, a strong second in the Queen’s Plate, ran fourth in the Prince of Wales.

“He got bounced around a little bit coming out of the gate and got shut off into the stretch,” trainer Mark Frostad said.

Hotep has never raced or worked on grass, but Frostad is not ruling out a go at the Breeders’.

“I’ll give him a work over it one day, and see what I think,” Frostad said.

◗ Mobthewarrior, fifth in both the Prince of Wales and the Queen’s Plate, also is Ontario-sired and will be looking for a restricted spot.

“We’ll let him freshen up a little bit,” said trainer Greg De Gannes, who also noted that Mobthewarrior is eligible for yearling sales stakes that will be run here Sept. 6.

◗ Captain Canuck, sixth in the Prince of Wales, could return in the Breeders’.

“If he stays good, we’re going to try it,” said Aaron Cohen, racing manager for owner Earle Mack. ‘We bought him off his first race on the grass, at Gulfstream, which I still think is one of his better races.”

◗ Who We Gunna Call was last of seven in the Prince of Wales after running ninth in the Queen’s Plate under jockey Gerry Olguin.

“Gerry said he didn’t like the dirt hitting him in the face,” trainer Tino Attard said. “Maybe we’ll find a grass race for him.”