09/03/2010 12:22PM

Mobil Unit back on turf in Vice Regent


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Mobil Unit, who found his best form on the dirt in the Princes of Wales Stakes, will go back to the turf Sunday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Vice Regent Stakes, a one-mile route for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Mobil Unit missed the board in each of his first two starts of the year, which included a dull display as the favorite in the Bold Ruckus Stakes on turf.

Mobil Unit was a prominent second at 13-1 in the 1 1/16-mile Prince of Wales, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Fort Erie on July 25.

“I don’t think he got the trip in the Prince of Wales,” trainer Mike Keogh said. “The reason I ran him in there is because he’d been working so well on the dirt. He’s possibly better on the dirt than he is on the turf. Down the road, I’d like to try him in an allowance race at Belmont, a one-turn mile.”

After a promising 2-year-old campaign, Keogh said Mobil Unit has been slow to come around this year.

“Earlier in the year, he just wasn’t running up to snuff,” Keogh said. “He seems a much better horse now. His races on the turf as a baby were really good. He only got beat a couple lengths to Bridgetown, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He also ran very well in the Cup and Saucer Stakes.”

Mobil Unit has continued to work swiftly over the dirt training track at Woodbine, and he should be an imposing presence on the lead in the Vice Regent, under David Clark.

“He’s been working lights out,” Keogh said. “Every time I work him, Clark is bent in half on him. I can’t work him any slower.”

Sir Andrew, like Mobil Unit, is a gelded son of Mobil.

Sir Andrew mounted an eye-catching wide rally from left field to graduate over a mile on the grass under apprentice Omar Moreno on Aug. 11.

“We didn’t expect him to be that far back,” trainer Earl Barnett said. “It was the first time that [Moreno] had ridden him, and I said to try and really settle him on the outside and get the lead late in the stretch – don’t move too early. He had me concerned when he was that far back, but after he straightened out turning for home, he made that big run on the outside and just kept going.”