POMONA, CA, Sept. 15, 2010-Martin Pedroza won his fourth stakes race in five days at Fairplex Park Wednesday, guiding Marco A. Gonzalez's Celestic Night to a three-quarter length victory over 13-10 favorite Winning Desire, ridden by David Flores, in the $50,000 C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs.
It was Pedroza's the 69th career stakes at Fairplex, where he leads runner-up Flores by five. Pedroza is Fairplex Park's career leader in victories with 630.
J J Minister was third, followed by Edgewick Road and El Valentin. Swiss Tart, the 8-5 morning line favorite, was scratched, as was Desert Paradise.
"I was concerned that my horse didn't want to make the first turn," Pedroza said of the son of Vindication trained by Neil French. "He was pulling me so hard, my saddle was going forward, so I had to let him go."
Added French: "He was coming off a maiden claiming win, but I thought he could handle this race. He reminds me of a few of the horses I had a few years ago by (the late sire and Triple Crown champion) Seattle Slew. I think this horse will stretch out and go longer distances."
Celestic Light paid $5.20 to win and covered the distance under 118 pounds in 1:24.74. He earned $28,500. Celestic Night tracked 21-1 pacesetter El Valentin early, took the lead on the far turn, opened up one and a half lengths over Winning Desire into the stretch, and held the favorite safe to the wire, No one hit the Pick Six Wednesday, creating a carryover of $42,261 into Thursday's card that begins at 1 p.m.