04/08/2010 11:00PM

Mobilizer shows good potential

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Trainer Roger Attfield headed into the current season with the long-term favorite for the Queen's Plate in Hollinger, who was undefeated in four starts and Canada's champion 2-year-old.

But Attfield could have another ace up his sleeve as Mobilizer, a Stronach Stable homebred, finished a game third when he made his first career start in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Keeneland on Thursday.

Mobilizer, with Corey Nakatani in the irons, pressed the pace from second place and was in front at the eighth pole before winding up third, two lengths behind the winner, as a 41-1 outsider. He received a 74 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I was bent-over-backwards delighted," said Attfield, who will remain at Keeneland through the end of the meeting. "He wasn't really ready to run that distance. I thought he ran a huge race."

Mobilizer, who is by Motivator out of a Kris S. mare, was breezing at Adena Springs South back in April 2009 and was a frequent worker for Attfield here through the summer months.

"He was working very well as a 2-year-old but he pulled some muscles up on his quarters, and I put him away," said Attfield.

"He was kind of a backward horse but he was a horse I always had good feelings about."

Sent to Palm Meadows in Florida, Mobilizer recorded seven breezes before shipping to Keeneland and then blew out once there before his first race.

"He has the pedigree to run in classic races," said Attfield. "It's pretty hard, when they don't do anything as 2-year-olds, to get appropriate races into them.

"You need to get that kind of horse started if you're going to have any shot to make the big dance."

The big dance, the $1 million Queen's Plate at 1 1/4 miles, will be run here July 4.

Hollinger tunes up for Queenston

Hollinger, who breezed five furlongs in 59.00 seconds at Keeneland on Friday morning, could make his first start of the season here May 15 in the $150,000 Queenston, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds.

"The plan had been to run him here in last week's Transylvania but he missed a little time early in the year and I got about a month behind with him," said Attfield.

"He's in good shape now. He's doing super-super."

Hollinger, owned and bred by Bob Harvey and Al Wortzman, was a runaway choice for the Sovereign Award after capping his perfect season with scores in the Cup and Saucer on turf and the Coronation Futurity on Polytrack.

Captain Canuck displays bad habits

Captain Canuck, a Queen's Plate nominee trained by Josie Carroll, was the 3-1 favorite in the maiden race at Keeneland on Thursday and finished eighth, though beaten just 3 3/4 lengths.

Owner Earle Mack had purchased an 80 percent interest in Captain Canuck after the gelding finished second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden turf race at Gulfstream on March 6.

"He was green as grass," said Aaron Cohen, Mack's racing manager, who could not make it to Keeneland but watched the race on television. "The only problem he had was between his ears.

"He was right where we wanted him, and then turning for home he cocked his head and looked at the grandstand."

Cohen added that Carroll told him the horse might have hinted at what was to come when he was a bit unsettled in the paddock.

"We'll be working on that," said Cohen, adding that Captain Canuck had come out of the race in good order and soon will be heading to Woodbine

Captain Canuck's previous owners, Centennial Farm (Niagara), retain a minority interest.

Peirce says he's here to stay

Trainer Robert Peirce, a 35-year-old native of Barbados, experienced life at Woodbine at its headiest level when he came north last summer with Woodbine Mile candidate Daylight Express.

Daylight Express began Peirce's local odyssey with a 10th-place finish in the Woodbine Mile but then captured a second-level optional $62,500 claimer to give the trainer his first visit to the winner's circle here.

Peirce picked up where he left off after returning to Barbados, where he is the leading trainer again this year, but then decided to tackle Woodbine on a long-term basis.

"I had a fantastic year last year in Barbados," said Peirce. "But I've got to put my all into being up here. I can't be in both places.

"I absolutely love it here. I've got some good owners, and picked up four really nice 2-year-olds at the Ocala sale.

"I want to do well, and make a name for myself."