The entries for Saturday’s feature race in the Aiken Trials includes some very familiar names. Gustav Schickedanz’s and Don Howard’s Mobil Unit, the winner of the 2012 City of Aiken Trophy, and Dunbarton Stable, LLC’s Friscan, the runner-up in last year’s contest, will be part of the field for this year’s 4 1/2-furlong race.
Mobil Unit, set a track record in last year’s City of Aiken, covering the 4 1/2-furlongs in 53 3/5 seconds, will break from post position no. 1. The son of the 2004 Sovereign Award winning older male horse Mobil, placed second in the 2010 middle jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, and the multiple stakes placed, 6-year-old is conditioned by Mike Keogh. The bay gelding has won $380,199. Chad Frederick will be in the irons on Mobil Unit.
“Mobil Unit’s doing really well this winter,” said Keogh. “He looks the picture of health. He’s the same tough old horse, tough as nails, tough to gallop, tough to do anything with, but just a pleasure to be around.”
Bill and Scarlett Simpson’s Dunbarton Stables, LLC’s Friscan also returns, and the gray gelding who captured the 2011 Coward Trophy and placed second to Mobil Unit in the 2012 City of Aiken Tophy, will be right along side his rival drawing post position no. 2. The Cary Frommer charge placed second in his 2013 debut, a 6-furlong allowance race at Parx Racing on Feb. 17. The 4-year-old graded stakes placed gelding will have Mikki Fincher in the irons. Friscan won a 6-furlong allowance race by 1 1/4-lengths on Sept. 12 at Presque Isle Downs. The son of Two Punch has 3 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third from nine lifetime starts and has bankrolled $112,557.
Wendy O’Leary and Knightquest Stables’ Inc.’s Itzhoweeroll drew post position no. 3, and the 5-year-old son of multiple Grade 2 stakes winner Successful Appeal earned $124,008 during his 4-year-old campaign. The Norm McKnight charge will have Marlon Beaufort up on Saturday. A winner of a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race over the Polytrack Elite surface at Woodbine on Oct. 10, the gray gelding has lifetime earnings of $185,763.
“He’s a professional and should be fit enough,” said McKnight. “He’s trained well, and has had a couple of 5/8ths breezes.” The second half of the Gustav Schickedanz and Don Howard entry drew the 4 hole. The Mike Keogh trained multiple stakes placed Say No More will have rider Sal Torres up on Saturday, and the son of the 1996 Sovereign Award winning Sprinter Langfuhr, won a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Fort Erie by 7 3/4-lengths on July 24, 2012, and followed that effort with a solid third place finish in the 5-furlong George Frostad Memorial Stakes at Fort Erie on Sept. 18.
“He won the race before the George Frostad Memorial, and he was one tick off from equaling the track record,” said Keogh. “I ran him at Fort Erie because I wanted to see how he handled the dirt. He had only run on Polytrack and turf. Most Langfuhrs do really well on on the dirt.”
The chestnut gelding has career earnings of $240,847.