06/28/2004 11:00PM

Mobil back where he's dangerous


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mobil will try to regroup following a lackluster performance in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap in Thursday's Grade 3, $217,200 Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine.

The 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day is the feature on the 10-race Canada Day card, which also includes the $159,900 Achievement Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds.

Mobil was a well-beaten second to his stablemate, Wando, the only time he ran 1 1/4 miles in the 2003 Queen's Plate. He launched his current campaign with an impressive score over Chris's Bad Boy in the seven-furlong Vigil Handicap, for which he received a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

After the Grade 3 Vigil, regular rider Todd Kabel declared Mobil to be better than ever.

"He's really grown and matured into his body," Kabel said. "He's much stronger than last year. He certainly showed his stuff. Chris's Bad Boy had everything his own way on the lead, but he got mowed down by Mobil."

Mobil's connections - owner Gustav Schickedanz and trainer Mike Keogh - captured the 1997 Met Mile at Belmont Park with Mobil's sire, Langfuhr. Schickedanz was hoping that lightning would strike twice and sent Mobil in this year's Metropolitan, but the homebred was never in contention and ended up trailing the nine-horse field.

"It was just too much for him," Keogh said. "He's just not in that class. It was one of the toughest [Met Mile] fields ever."

Mobil has recorded several encouraging workouts in the interim, including a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 59.80 seconds on the main track June 13. "He's been working well," Keogh said.

Mark One, a 5-year-old Stronach Stable runner, should be a factor under hot stakes rider Robert Landry, who rode Niigon to victory in Sunday's Queen's Plate.

Mark One, who recorded his first stakes victory here May 24 in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap, has won both of his outings this year since trainer Danny Vella took the blinkers off him.

"Mark One has surprised me, how much he's improved," Vella said. "I took the blinkers off him, and that's helped a little bit, but I think he's just a stronger horse this year. He has this acceleration that he didn't have before."

Trainer Abraham Katryan entered Parrott Bay and Slim Dusty, who were both claimed for $50,000 by Kelynack Racing Stable.

Parrott Bay defeated $50,000 opponents a month ago. Slim Dusty never fired last time out on the grass, but was an authoritative winner of an $80,000 optional claimer May 29.