05/28/2003 11:00PM

Mobil primed to travel two turns


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Monday's Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont brought back fond memories for trainer Mike Keogh, who captured the Met Mile with Langfuhr in 1997.

Keogh trains a pair of talented sons of Langfuhr - Mobil and Wando - who are arguably the top two prospects for the June 22 Queen's Plate. Mobil will have his final Plate prep Saturday at Woodbine in the $162,600 Plate Trial Stakes, a nine-furlong race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Mobil has made just one start this year, in the May 3 Queenston Stakes. He stalked a slow pace on the outside in that seven-furlong race, and then dropped back on the turn before mounting a strong stretch rally to win by a length under Todd Kabel.

"I thought it was a good race," said Keogh. "Even though he won the Simcoe Stakes at seven furlongs last year, he's not really a seven-eighths of a mile horse. He's better going two turns. Todd said [Mobil] lost his hind end on the turn. He said he rode another horse that day who did the same thing in the same spot. Once he got straightened out in the lane, he kicked back in."

Keogh was impressed with Mobil's two interim works, including a one-mile move in 1:39.40 on May 18.

"When he worked a mile, I thought it was a great work," said Keogh. "I got him going from the three-quarter pole to the wire in 1:13 flat, and he had already worked a quarter of a mile."

Also entered in the Plate Trial were Rock Again, Sonofawac, Brighton Ridge, Solihull, and Peef.

Rock Again, a promising son of 1997 Plate winner Awesome Again, is making his stakes debut. He was a troubled fifth here in his first start in the fall, and subsequently won his maiden around two turns at Gulfstream in early March.

Trainer Malcolm Pierce said he had to bypass an April allowance at Keeneland with Rock Again when the colt got sick. Rock Again captured a 1 1/16-mile allowance here April 26 while earning a 90 Beyer, the same speed figure that Mobil got in the Queenston.

"He was an immature 2-year-old, so we just took our time with him," said Pierce. "He's still learning. I don't think we've got to the bottom of him yet."

Eibar Coa inherits the mount on Rock Again from Kabel, who is back on Mobil.

The $110,000 Alywow Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies, is the supporting feature on the 10-race card.