09/03/2011 4:08PM

Del Mar: Celestic Night's win in El Cajon helps pad Mitchell's lead

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BENOIT PHOTO
Celestic Night connects at $36.20 in the El Cajon, giving trainer Mike Mitchell his 21st winner of the Del Mar meet.

Celestic Night pulled an upset in Friday’s $100,000 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds and gave trainer Mike Mitchell his 21st winner of the meeting.

Through Friday, Mitchell led the trainer standings by three races over John Sadler. Peter Miller was a distant third with 10 wins. If Mitchell holds on to the lead through Wednesday’s closing day, the training title will be his first at Del Mar since 1996, and first at any track since the 2008 Los Angles County fair meeting at Fairplex Park.

In addition, Mitchell became the all-time winningest trainer at Del Mar last month. He has 450 wins through Friday, 13 more than active Hall of Fame Ron McAnally.

“It’s been a great meeting,” he said on Friday morning.

Celestic Night ($36.20) led throughout the El Cajon and won the one-mile race by a nose over 12-1 Great Warrior. Uncle Sam, the even-money favorite, was fourth.

Owned by Jeffrey Sengara, Celestic Night was claimed for $80,000 in March, but did not start again until the El Cajon because of a knee problem, Mitchell said.

◗ The Los Angeles County Fair meeting at Fairplex Park begins on Friday with a program highlighted by $50,000 Beverly Lewis Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs. The Fairplex Park meeting runs through Sept. 25. The richest races of the meeting are the $100,000 Barretts Debutante and Barretts Juvenile on Sept. 17-18.