07/25/2004 12:00AM

Shoal Water holds off Mobil


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Shoal Water ($12.70) fought off a game Mobil in the stretch and set a course record in the $333,300 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes at Woodbine Sunday.

Shoal Water ran a mile and three-eighths in 2:12.37 seconds under Todd Kabel. The previous record of 2:13.05 was set by Dawson's Legacy in 1999.

Mobil set moderate fractions of :24.19, :48.56 and 1:12.72 seconds, while being stalked by Shoal Water and Control Tower.

Shoal Water joined Mobil on the lead exiting the far turn, and hit the front at the three-sixteenths pole before opening up a length lead. Mobil dug back in during the final sixteenth, but couldn't get by Shoal Water, who prevailed by a neck.

Strut the Stage rallied wide for third, giving the Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad first and third money in the Grade 2 event. Perfect Soul, the 8-5 favorite, finished fifth, while Slew Valley ended up sixth in the eight-horse field.

"He ran a great race," said Frostad. "He was able to sit off the pace a bit, which really helped. Mobil dug back in and gave us quite a scare in the last few yards."

Shoal Water, who captured the Grade 2 Saranac Handicap at Saratoga last September, earned $199,980.