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HORSE RACING

Espinoza on a Roll in Stakes

June 07, 2004|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

Jockey Victor Espinoza made it a sweep of the three stakes races he rode over the weekend at Hollywood Park with a victory aboard 2-1 second choice Summer Wind Dancer in Sunday's $108,600 Hawthorne Handicap.

After not having a mount in the Cinderella earlier in the program, Espinoza, who had won the Desert Stormer with 5-1 shot Coconut Girl and the Honeymoon with 16-1 outsider Lovely Rafaela on Saturday, helped Summer Wind Dancer end a losing streak.

Owned by Linda Vetter and Richard and Yvette Wira and trained by Jeff Mullins, the 4-year-old Siberian Summer filly had lost 10 in a row before her win in the Grade III Hawthorne. Her last victory had come in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 2, 2002 when she was trained by Jenine Sahadi.

Pesci, the even-money favorite, was a length back in second in her attempt to become a graded stakes winner. Miss Loren, making her first start in this country after winning 10 of 36 races in South America, finished a distant third.

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In a race weakened by the scratch of Bella Banissa, the morning line favorite, because of illness, Souvenir Gift -- the longest shot in the field at 7-1 -- easily beat Fortunate Event and four others in the $83,350 Cinderella Stakes.

Mike Smith rode the Souvenir Copy filly for trainer Sam Semkin, who co-owns the 2-year-old with Gregory Unruh. She won by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:04.80 for the 5 1/2 furlongs.

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