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Kabel choses between Mobil and Wando
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jockey Todd Kabel's choice is Mobil.
Kabel has ridden both Mobil and Wando in each of their starts this year, and the two stablemates will be the first and second choices here in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate.
Mike Keogh, who trains Mobil and Wando, both sons of Langfuhr, for owner-breeder Gustav Schickedanz, always has maintained that the final decision as to which colt to ride would be Kabel's alone.
And on Monday morning, after guiding Mobil through a six-furlong drill in 1:12.60 on the fast main track, Kabel finally went on the record.
"That's my pick," said Kabel, nodding toward Mobil as he treated the colt to a post-workout peppermint.
"He's awesome; he's just a machine. This horse is going to go somewhere, after the [Canadian] Triple Crown."
Mobil has raced only twice this year, winning the seven-furlong Queenston and 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.
Wando has run three times this year, finishing second in the six-furlong Achievement and winning the Woodstock at six furlongs and the Marine at 1 1/16 miles.
Kabel actually will be named on both horses at the draw here Thursday, and his choice does not have to be made official until just before 3 p.m. Saturday, when advance betting opens on the Queen's Plate card.
But barring a last-minute change in Mobil's status, Kabel will not be switching.
Husbands to ride Wando
Patrick Husbands, who will pick up the mount on Wando in the Plate, rode Wando here Sunday morning, when the colt completed his serious Plate preparations by working six furlongs in 1:12.
Hugger, a maiden 3-year-old filly from Keogh's barn, served as Wando's "rabbit," and was passed on the inside, while clocked in 48.40 seconds for a half-mile.
Illusive Force works but not 'too interested'
Illusive Force, looking to become the first British Columbia-bred to win the Queen's Plate, worked a mile in 1:44.80 here Monday, going on his own under exercise rider Mickey Walls.
"Mickey said he wasn't too interested down the lane because he had nothing to go at," said Lani VanOverschot, wife and assistant to trainer Rob VanOverschot.
"But I was quite happy about it. He was blowing real good after. He got a lot out of it."
Illusive Force, owned and bred by the Canyon Farm of Wally and Terry Leong, finished fourth in both the Marine and the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park.
Quiet Dare likely for Charlie Barley
Quiet Dare, who has been on the bubble for the Plate, worked five furlongs in 59.80 under exercise rider Gayle Lynch here Monday.
Mac Benson, who trains Quiet Dare for the Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge Jr., said the gelding has not been eliminated from Plate consideration, but is a more likely candidate for the $100,000 Charlie Barley, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds on Sunday's program.
"I think that entry of Schickedanz's is very formidable," said Benson of Mobile and Wando.
Sircharlesschnabel works at Belmont
Sircharlesschnabel, who is owned by Hard Eight Stable and based at Belmont Park with trainer Phil Serpe, worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 there Monday under exercise rider Lisa Bartkowski.
"He's doing excellent," said Serpe. "He had a good work today. That's as good as I needed him to go."
Sircharlesschnabel got his final quarter-mile in 23.80.
Rock Again looking good
Three other Plate hopefuls had their final major tune-ups on the fast main track here Sunday, the most prominent being Rock Again.
Runner-up in the Plate Trial for Stronach Stable, Rock Again worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 while going in company with stablemate El General, an allowance-caliber 4-year-old who was clocked in 1:02.
"I was happy enough with the work," said trainer Malcolm Pierce, whose wife and assistant, Sally Pierce, was aboard for the drill. "He finished up well, I thought."
Peef, a distant third in the Trial, went in 47.20 under new rider Steven Bahen as the fastest of 90 horses working four furlongs.
Bahen won last year's Plate aboard longshot T J's Lucky Moon.
"He went very well," said Rita Schnitzler, who took over as Peef's trainer after the gelding was purchased this spring by Jurgen Schemmer's Arosa Stable.
"He's healthy and I think he's just thriving on distance. That's what it looks like he wants. I'm looking for a big race from him."
Solihull works his way into Plate
Solihull, a badly beaten last of six when seeking his third straight win in the Plate Trial, earned his way back into the Plate picture by working five furlongs in 1:00.80.
Festy Eskimo, a maiden who was clocked in 1:01.60, accompanied Solihull, who had regular rider Dino Luciani in the irons.
"He worked sharp," said David Bell, who trains Solihull for owner-breeder Les Pereira, "and he wouldn't have blown out a candle afterward.
"He had a little bit of mucus the last time he ran, but he scoped clean after Sunday's work."
Silvera family had enough of Victoria Stakes
Things couldn't have gone much worse for the Silvera family here in last Saturday's Victoria Stakes.
Gemini Dream, trained by Arthur Silvera, finished first under jockey Ray Sabourin but was disqualified and placed last when the stewards ruled he had interfered with odds-on favorite Stormthebarricade heading into the far turn.
Stormthebarricade, trained by Arthur's father, Laurie Silvera, fell during the incident and his jockey, Emile Ramsammy, was thrown to the track.
The good news is that Stormthebarricade came out relatively unscathed.
Ramsammy escaped with a cracked cheekbone, but was back home Monday after spending the weekend in hospital. His agent, Neal Wilson, said he plans to be back in action Saturday.
Arthur Silvera has appealed the decision of the stewards, which resulted in first-time starter Third Day inheriting the first prize.
Queen's Plate probables
The $1 million Queen's Plate for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles will be run Sunday, June 22.
|Arco's Gold||C. Montpellier||J. Ross|
|Button Wood||C. Sutherland||M. Doyle|
|Dance Engagement||J. McAleney||J. Ross|
|El Gran Maestro||J. Jones||G. Nemett|
|Illusive Force||D. Wilson||R. VanOverschot|
|Islendingur||G. Olguin||A. Fehr|
|Mobil||T. Kabel||M. Keogh|
|Peef||S. Bahen||R. Schnitzler|
|Rock Again||E. Coa||M. Pierce|
|Shoal Water||R. Landry||M. Frostad|
|Solihull||D. Luciani||D. Bell|
|Wando||P. Husbands||M. Keogh|