03/28/2011 4:05PM

Santa Anita: Celestic Night eyeing Santa Anita Derby

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Benoit & Associates
Celestic Night could make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The 2010 stakes winner Celestic Night, claimed for $80,000 on March 10, is being considered for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9, trainer Mike Mitchell said Sunday.

Mitchell admits that Celestic Night will be a longshot in the Santa Anita Derby, run over 1 1/8 miles, but was encouraged by the colt’s six-furlong workout in 1:13.60 at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

“I’ve always had distance in mind with him,” Mitchell said. “If he continues to do well and gives me another good work, we’ll run.”

Mitchell said his decision to start Celestic Night in the Santa Anita Derby is influenced by the absence of 3-year-old grass stakes at Hollywood Park this spring and summer. In the past, the track has run the Will Rogers and Cinema stakes, but those races are not on the calendar for the upcoming meeting.

SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY: See Brad Free's video previews and watch full card live on DRF.com

Celestic Night is one of nine probable starters for the Santa Anita Derby, along with Anthony’s Cross, Bench Points, Comma to the Top, Indian Winter, Mr. Commons, Offlee Wild Boys, Premier Pegasus, and Silver Medallion.

Last September, Celestic Night won the C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes at Fairplex Park.

Periban receives suspension, fine

Trainer Jorge Periban has been suspended and fined after one of his starters at Santa Anita in January tested positive for an excessive amount of the medication clenbuterol, the racing board announced in a ruling Sunday.

As a result, part of the purse has been redistributed. Clenbuterol, a bronchodilator that also is sometimes used to build muscle, is a Class 3 medication. Violations for medications in Classes 1, 2, or 3 result in purse redistribution.

Periban, 51, reached a stipulated agreement with the racing board for a 30-day suspension, with 20 days stayed in the event that he has no further medication violations in Classes 1, 2, or 3 through March 27, 2012. The remaining 10 days of the suspension will be served from March 28 through April 6. In addition, Periban was fined $3,000.

The excessive test was found in a post-race urine test taken from B’s Lucky Strike, the runner-up in a $28,000 starter allowance, the sixth race on Jan. 17. B’s Lucky Strike earned $5,600, which has been forfeited.

The remaining order of finish has been changed, resulting in No Stadium, Big Bad Boo, Lucky Fitz, and Fantando each being promoted one position.

◗ Trainer Richard Mandella has been fined $500 by Santa Anita stewards after Champ Pegasus tested positive for the muscle relaxant methocarbamol following his victory in the San Luis Obispo Handicap on Feb. 19. Champ Pegasus was unplaced in the $5 million Sheema Classic in Dubai on Saturday.