10/31/2002 1:00AM

Champion title also on the line


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - In most years, Mobil would lock up Canadian champion juvenile honors with a win in Saturday's Coronation Futurity, an important nine-furlong race for Canadian-breds.

But because of the triumphs of his high-profile stablemate Wando and the unbeaten Added Edge, it will probably take a Herculean effort for him to have a chance at the Sovereign award.

Mobil should be a short price when he seeks his fourth straight victory in the $250,000 Coronation. The Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes for fillies and mares is the supporting feature on the 10-race Woodbine card.

After faring poorly in his first two starts, Mobil won his maiden in the restricted Simcoe Stakes. He went on to capture the allowance prep for the Cup and Saucer Stakes, which was taken off the grass and run in the slop. He then took the Cup and Saucer over yielding turf.

Jockey Todd Kabel said Mobil loafed after making the lead in the early stretch of the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer. He also said Mobil probably prefers the main track.

"He's shown that he can run on either surface, but I think he's better on dirt." Kabel said. "He's improving with every race, and he's versatile."

Trainer Mike Keogh said Mobil said came out of the race in fine fettle, and continues to train in forward fashion.

"He worked really well on the training track," Keogh said, of his runner's five-furlong workout on Oct. 22. "He went in 1:00.40, and galloped out three-quarters in 1:14 and change on his own, with my assistant Serge LeBlanc on him."

Also entered in the 99th running of the Coronation are Snake Pit, Peef, El Gran Maestro, Shoal Water, Timeform, and Arco's Gold.

Arco's Gold is unbeaten in two starts for trainer John Ross. He won his 6 1/2-furlong debut on Sept. 8. Most recently, he won by a neck in a seven-furlong allowance, for which he earned an impressive 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Whispered Warning and Chad's Hope exited the latest event to win allowance races last week.

Ross said he would prefer a shorter route for Arco's Gold, who is a full brother to late-running sprinter Adjalah.

"I wish this race was a mile and a sixteenth," Ross said, "because he's coming off a seven-furlong race, but I think there's other people here in the same boat. He blew out a half-mile in 47 and change by himself with Constant Montpellier up [Tuesday], and galloped out five-eighths in a minute. He's doing well."

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