Thursday, July 1, 2010

Queen's Plate Profiler: Mobthewarrior Ready For Battle

To win the Queen's Plate you need a horse that can survive a ten furlong battle while carrying 126lbs. Fortunately for trainer Greg De Gannes, he has a warrior on his side - Mobthewarrior, that is.

"I wouldn't trade places with anybody," said De Gannes on the Woodbine backstretch earlier this week. "I respect my competitors, but I don't want to trade places with them."

Mobthewarrior ain't backing down without a fight

And you can hardly blame the conditioner for being so confident when you see the big gelding in person.

"He's got good acceleration," stated De Gannes. "A good turn of foot. The 126lbs and ten furlongs will stop the majority of them but it wont stop him."

De Gannes has held the horse they call Mob in high regard from early days.

"Before he ran for the first time we knew he was a pretty decent horse," admitted De Gannes. "He's exceeded our expectations. We thought we'd have a good Ontario sired horse but he's competitive with the rest of the Canadian bred three year olds - Ontario sired or not."

Emile Ramsammy plans to go on a Queen's Plate rampage with Mobthewarrior

Mobthewarrior was a runaway winner in his first lifetime start defeating Grittani in a four and a half furlong tilt by more than six lengths. In his next start, Mob went off as the favourite in the five and a half furlong Clarendon Stakes finishing fifth but only a length and a half behind the winner, Who's Big Daddy.

Mobthewarrior likes the suds

The Mobil gelding would run a streak of four consecutive stakes events following that first defeat. Mob ran third in the Vandal won by Ghost Fleet; second to Fastin Bear in the Simcoe; an impressive third against open company in the G3 Grey won by Florida-bred Bear Tough Guy; and finished the sequence, and his 2009 campaign, with a win in the restricted Frost King in front of Bold Canadian and the excellent D's Legend Storm at seven furlongs.

Mobthewarrior finishes third in the Queen's Plate Trial won by Big Red Mike

Over the off season, Mobthewarrior grew in stature while spending time in Florida at Palm Meadows.

"He got thicker. He really developed into a man," began De Gannes. "He got wider, he got thicker and his whole attitude toward training improved. He doesn't have the little boyish tricks anymore. He knows what his job is and he's very serious about it."

Mobthewarrior strikes his "E.T. phone home pose..."

Mob is so serious about the racing part of his job that he can't wait to get going once loaded into the gate.

"I gate schooled him this morning as he's had a problem in the gate," said De Gannes. "He's a very anxious horse. When he gets in there he wants to get going. He doesn't want to stand around. It's not such a bad habit to have but sometimes it can detract from his start. I think if we'd had a little better start last time (in the Plate Trial), although he was drawn outside and loaded late he'd have done better. He got a little impatient in the gate and that takes away a little bit of energy and that takes a bit from your race. I just want to make sure that all stones are turned over for Plate day and everything is prepared."

Mobthewarrior gets to the wire in front of Giant's Tomb in the Plate Trial

After losing his three year-old debut by a nose, a determined Mobthewarrior surprised plenty of Woodbine patrons with a third place finish in the Plate Trial at odds of 11-1.

"He didn't surprise me," grinned the conditioner. "By the numbers he was just as good as any of the other horses. It was just a case of what type of trip he got. It was a race that had no pace in it and he enjoys having a little speed to run at which I think we'll get in the Plate. He was a little closer than I figured he would be (in the Plate Trial) but that's alright. He has a talented rider who knows the horse very well and we left it in his capable hands."

Mobthewarrior on his soapbox getting ready to state his Queen's Plate credentials

Talented jockey Emile Ramsammy has won the Queen's Plate twice previously with Victor Cooley and Edenwold. On Sunday, Ramsammy and Mobthewarrior will be the last pair loaded into the gate starting from post twelve which should allow the jock plenty of time to pick his spot.

"It's a long run down the first two furlongs that if you can't get yourself sorted out and into a decent position...," trailed off the trainer. "It's typically not as roughly run a race as the Kentucky Derby . Remember how Lookin at Lucky was bounced off the rail in the Derby this year? The Plate generally isn't that roughly run a race. They'll get themselves sorted out."

In terms of breeding, Mobthewarrior couldn't be better prepared for the Canadian classic.

"He has quite a bit of stamina from his sire and dam," agreed De Gannes. "The Woodman on his dam side provides a lot of stamina and that's why I'm confident the ten furlongs won't be a problem."

With De Gannes confident of Mob's abilities, the only remaining issues is his well-bred competitors.

"I think Mark's (Sam-Son Farms trainer Mark Frostad) horse Hotep is one of the more fancied," admitted De Gannes. "Mike's horse certainly hasn't done anything wrong. They're certainly well-bred talented horses and we'll have to run the race of our lives to beat them but my job is to make sure we're ready to run the race of our lives."

Handicappers looking for an edge on Sunday might take note that De Gannes and Ramsammy have combined for six wins in twenty-one starts thus far this meet. Perhaps Mobthewarrior will be lucky number seven for the pair.

In continuing with the bad '80s music theme from yesterday's post...Mob is The Warrior

* * *

The draw for the Queen's Plate was held this morning which was presided over by Canadian gold-medal winning Olympian Alexandre Bilodeau. The draw was played out in two parts. First, numbers were pulled to determine a "draft position" for each entrant. Then each entrant would have two minutes to consult with their owners and name their position.

Mike Doyle and Smart Sky "won" the lottery and with their first choice selected post position six. Catherine Day Phillips and the maiden Vicar Street earned the 13th position in the draw and with all slots taken were forced to select the rail and post position one. What follows is the post positions for the 2010 Queen's Plate with "draft position" in brackets so readers can determine how each entrant decided their starting point.

Vicar Street, Tyler Pizarro, 30-1 (13th)
Who We Gunna Call, Gerry Olguin, 30-1: (12th)
D's Wando, Emma-Jayne Wilson, 20-1; (11th)
Dark Cloud Dancer, Javier Castellano, 15-1; (5th)
Big Red Mike, Eurico Rosa da Silva, 6-1; (3rd)
Smart Sky, Chantal Sutherland, 30-1; (1st)
Ghost Fleet, Richard Dos Ramos, 20-1; (2nd)
Giant's Tomb, Mike Smith, 12-1; (7th)
Mobilizer, Jono Jones, 7-2; (9th)
Roan Inish, Davy Moran, 9-2; (4th)
Hotep, Patrick Husbands, 3-1; (8th)
Mobthewarrior, Emile Ramsammy, 10-1 (9th)
Moment of Majesty, Robert Landry, 12-1 (10th)

And now, here's some photos from the Queen's Plate Draw!

The tables were dressed in the silks of the contenders

Connections of the contenders milled about the Woodbine walking ring

Jockey Emile Ramsammy is proud be at Woodbine on Canada Day!

Woodbine security keep a close eye on known troublemaker Sandy Hawley

A gorgeous day to be at the Woodbine races

Alexandre Bilodeau talked about losing at ping pong to Sydney Crosby...

Trainer Roger Attfield is trying for his ninth Queen's Plate win - and Mobilizer will start from post nine!

Fortunately the four hooves of D's Wando are in good order for owner Carmen DiPaola and trainer Ian Black

Trainer Sue Leslie called Curtis Joseph to take part in the Queen's Plate draw. The duo know their filly, Moment of Majesty, won't be phoning it in on Sunday

Carolyn and Robert Costigan believe their filly Roan Inish is a perfect 10

Canadians went crazy when Alexandre Bilodeau became the first Canuck to win gold on home soil

Who will win the gold on Sunday?

* * *

As always, you can keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into my Woodbine News page or backtrack though information on Sunday's contenders by clicking into my Queen's Plate contender page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a right good giggle about security and Sandy Hawley !
Thanks for your twitter yesterday from the draw... I was on the edge of my seat.
Great coverage from you leading into the Plate -- the Woodbine site should hire you.