In a thrilling $250,000 Coronation Futurity, Arco's Gold and Mobil dueled stretch-long to finish in a dead-heat in the 99th edition of the 1 1/8-mile race at Woodbine Sunday.But in a dramatic turn of events, Mobil was disqualified by Ontario Racing Commission stewards from his share of top money when they deemed jockey Todd Kabel had interfered with Arco's Gold when he inadvertently hit his rival on the nose with his whip. They placed Arco's Gold on top alone and placed Mobil second.In what could have been the race of the year at Woodbine, Mobil established an early advantage in the Futurity, Canada's top race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, leading the eight-horse field through fractions of :23.47, :47.50 and 1:12.41. Arco's Gold, under Constant Montpellier, sat behind his foe in fifth, but around the final turn engaged Mobil and the pair became glued to each other's flank. Arco's Gold inched away inside the 70-yard pole, but Mobil responded and the two hit the wire together, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:53.75.Montpellier said Arco's Gold was gutsy in the Futurity. "He ran a tremendous race; really game. He got hit in the face and still came on again and kept going. I went by Mobil (in deep stretch), but Mobil came back on again, and (Arco's Gold) wouldn't let him go by."The stewards decision was correct, according to Montpellier. "(Kabel) hit (Arco's Gold) right across the face, accidently of course, so my horse took a step back. It might have cost him the race."Trainer Mike Keogh was happy with the way Mobil ran, but disappointed in the result. "He ran very gutsy. He was a little sharper than we expected, he ran out of the gate, ranker than usual, but I thought he ran a huge race."As for the interference, Keogh didn't notice anything because he was cheering too vociferously. "I was riding him too hard myself to notice that."
John Ross, trainer of Arco's Gold, was pleased with the gutsy effort his chestnut son of Gold Fever delivered. "The gameness is what we're happy about. 'Con' did a great job getting him to relax off the pace. I was really proud of the way he kicked on. It's too bad about the situation down the lane, but that's racing. We came out on top and we're happy and thrilled about that."With the win, Arco's Gold stayed undefeated in three starts, collecting $150,000 for the win to raise career earnings to $224,460.He paid $7.30, $4.30, $3.60 across the board and combined with Mobil ($3.30, $2.40) for a $16.50 exacta. Peef ($8.40), 5 3/4 lengths back in third, rounded out the $110.40 trifecta.(Chart, Equibase)