Updated on 09/17/2011 10:47AM

Wando scores a blowout in Queen's Plate

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Michael Burns
Patrick Husbands pumps his fist in victory aboard Wando after romping to a nine-length win in the 144th Queen's Plate at Woodbine on Sunday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Favored Wando went right to the front and never looked back to win the 144th running of the $1 million with authority at Woodbine Sunday.

Second-place finisher Mobil gave owner Gustav Schickedanz and trainer Mike Keogh a sweep of the first two positions in the 1 1/4-mile event for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. The two were separate betting interests, because there are no couplings in stakes worth $100,000 or more at Woodbine.

Wando broke sharply under Patrick Husbands and vied for the early lead with Shoal Water through an initial quarter in :23.04. He established a clear advantage heading into the clubhouse turn while getting a half in :46.67, and ran the three-quarters in a quick 1:11.93.

Wando opened up a five-length gap at the eighth pole and cruised home on top by nine lengths, in a final time of 2:02.48. Mobil, the 2-1 second choice, saved ground while racing in third most of the way, and ended up a length and a half clear of third-place finisher Rock Again.

The order of finish was completed by Shoal Water, Dance Engagement, Solihull, Peef, Arco's Gold, El Gran Maestro, Button Wood, Sircharlesschnabel and Illusive Force.

Husbands picked up the mount on Wando when Todd Kabel, the regular rider of both Wando and Mobil, chose the latter.

"I knew he was the best horse in the race," said Husbands. "He left there running, and (Shoal Water) backed off me by the time we hit the seven-eighths pole. From there, I was just galloping. By the time we reached the three-quarter pole, I knew I was a winner."

Keogh said he and Husbands decided to let Wando run his own race.

"Patrick and I spoke before the race," Keogh recalled, "and we decided that if Wando wanted the lead, we weren't going to strangle him. I was hoping we wouldn't get into a speed duel with Shoal Water when he went with us. Luckily, that didn't happen."

Kabel said Mobil never fired after blowing the break.

"My horse stumbled leaving the gate," Kabel said, "and I don't know if that affected him in any way. He really struggled with the track, and I couldn't get him on the bridle. I'm just very happy that he finished second, because I didn't think he was going to get any part of it."

Wando, a son of Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap winner Langfuhr and Grade 2 Monmouth Oaks winner Kathie's Colleen, returned $4.80. He earned $600,000, which boosted his bankroll to $1,174,402.

It was the second Plate victory for Schickedanz and Keogh, who captured the 1999 running with Woodcarver.

The total handle on the 11-race live card was $5,814,484, a record for a Queen's Plate Day.