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FAIRPLEX : Pedroza Provides the Key

October 02, 1994|FRED ROBLEDO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

John E. Pinner, owner of Set On Cruise, is in for a pleasant surprise when he finds out that his horse won a four-horse photo finish in Saturday's $100,000 Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park.

The horse's trainer, Danny Velasquez, made no secret about how he expected the race to be run.

"We handicapped the race and felt we could get second or third behind Flying Sensation," Velasquez said. That might have been part of the reason Pinner was absent for the biggest victory of his career. The more important reason was because he was attending a father-daughter dance.

What he missed was a perfect ride by Martin Pedroza, who found a hole along the rail in the stretch and beat Warning Labell, Attleboro and Flying Sensation in a blanket finish of the 1 1/8-mile race.

The margin of victory was a head and was made possible because of the ground Pedroza saved on the backstretch when Flying Sensation, under David Flores, was making a strong move from fifth place in an eight-horse field.

"I thought he went too soon," Pedroza said. "I let him go by and just waited for something to open."

Although Flying Sensation took the lead at the top of the stretch, he couldn't pull away and eventually finished fourth.

"Flying Sensation was the class of the field," Velasquez said, "but he was going from a sprint to a distance, and it's not always that easy."

*

Brotherly Love, ridden by Eddie Garcia, broke fast and held off Sticky N Picky and Steve Treasure for a neck victory in the $25,000 Pomona Quarter Horse Championship, the third race on Saturday's card.

It was the third year in a row Garcia had the winning mount in the 400-yard race. He won with Easter Buggy in 1992 and with Reign Of Terror last year.

"I knew if we got out of the gate, I'd be OK," Garcia said. "I thought I won by a half-length, but everybody told me it was closer."

Charles Treece, who trains the horse for owner Sherri Barham of Yorba Linda, called Brotherly Love "one of the best horses I've had." He claimed him for $8,000 in 1991.

Horse Racing Notes

Soul Of The Matter, the winner of the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs, was bet down to 4-5 at Fairplex Park and paid $3.80 to win. . . . Seahawk Gold, a 4 1/2-length winner of the C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes on Sept. 25, and Nancys French Fry head a field of 10 in today's $150,000 Pomona Invitational Handicap. Berillon is the defending champion but is 12-1 on the morning line.

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