09/13/2010 11:48AM

Harrington has high hopes for Swiss Tart


POMONA, Calif. – Bettors looking for a sure thing Wednesday at Fairplex Park will appreciate trainer Mike Harrington’s analysis.

Harrington starts likely favorite Swiss Tart and longshot Edgewick Road in the $50,000 C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs. Harrington likes the chalk.

Swiss Tart “should be 4-5, and I expect him to run that way,” Harrington said.

Swiss Tart ran the best race of his eight-start career nine days ago on Sept. 6, finishing second in the $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes. It was his fourth start of the seven-week Del Mar meet.

“It is a lot,” Harrington admits. “But the horse is doing good, and when they’re doing good, you let ’em run.” Swiss Tart’s Del Mar campaign included a maiden-claiming win, followed by runner-up finishes in a starter allowance and the I’m Smokin.

“He ran three big races down there, he liked that surface,” Harrington said, referring to Polytrack.

Swiss Tart, whose rider is Christian Santiago-Reyes, will try to follow the betting-favorite bias that emerged opening week of the Los Angeles County Fair meet. Favorites won 55 percent (24 of 43) of the Thoroughbred races.

Harrington’s second entrant Wednesday is Edgewick Road, who beat only one horse in the I’m Smokin. It was his first start in two months.

“At Del Mar, he trained horribly,” Harrington said. “I ran him just to put a race into him.”

Edgewick Road finished third in his debut, won a maiden special weight, and finished third in the Willard Proctor Stakes.

“He ran 1-2-3 his first three starts, so yes, I had expectations,” Harrington said. “I’m hoping the change in surfaces helps him.”

Antonio Castanon is named to ride Edgewick Road.

Handicappers always must consider any Fairplex horse ridden by Martin Pedroza, who won 20 races from 41 mounts opening week to shoot 15 wins clear on the jockey standings after just four days. Pedroza rides Celestic Night in the C.B. Afflerbaugh.

Celestic Night improved each of three subsequent starts at Del Mar, including a highly rated (69 Beyer Speed Figure) win in his most recent start Aug. 29 in a $40,000 maiden-claimer. Neil French trains the improving colt.

Winning Desire also won a fast (66 Beyer) race last out at Del Mar. He won a $62,500 maiden-claimer while benefitting from a pro-inside bias. David Flores rides for trainer Bob Hess Jr.

Other starters include Desert Paradise, J J Minister, and El Valentine.