Espinoza

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Wanna Runner Favored in Queen's Plate

Of the 13 horses entered for Sunday's Queen's Plate at Woodbine, 11 have previously run at the Ontario track. But one of the two that hasn't started at Woodbine was made the morning line favorite, and for good reason.

Desormeaux Gets Derby Mount on Imperialism

Multiple grade II winner Imperialism will get a new jockey for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), owner Steve Taub said Monday. The gray son of Langfuhr, who had been ridden by Victor Espinoza in all of his three starts since being purchased privately by Taub in early January, will now be ridden by Hall of Fame candidate Kent Desormeaux.

Espinoza Completes Sweep With Puerto Banus

Jockey Victor Espinoza completed a sweep of the President's Day stakes doubleheader at Santa Anita when he guided Puerto Banus through heavy traffic in the stretch for a neck victory in the grade II, $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap. Less than one length separated the top five finishers in the turf marathon.

Mountain Rage Closes for La Puente Win

Mountain Rage kicked clear of Doc Holiday in the stretch to win Sunday's $82,050 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita. Under Victor Espinoza, the Bob Baffert-trained son of Mecke completed the mile in 1:34.84 on firm turf.

Popular Earns First Stakes Win in San Miguel

The Thoroughbred Corporation's homebred Popular was headed in the stretch by 13-10 favorite Roman Dancer, then fought back to the lead under jockey Victor Espinoza to win Sunday's $107,900 San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) by a nose at Santa Anita.

Habibti Edges You for Starlet Honors

The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Habibti edged 4-5 favorite You in the $358,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes to earn her second career grade I victory in Hollywood Park's Sunday feature race.

Nakatani Hires Stevens' Former Agent

The saga of musical jockey agents in Southern California continued Saturday as top journeyman Corey Nakatani revealed he would retain veteran agent Tony Matos effective for the upcoming Santa Anita season. Earlier in the week, Hall of Famer Gary Stevens announced he would be ending his professional relationship with Matos at the conclusion of the current Hollywood Park season and that he had retained the services of Brian Beach.

Aqueduct Race Report: Get in Line

The Big Top has been taken down and racing's "Greatest Show on Earth" has moved on. But that doesn't mean there aren't any talented entertainers left in New York to provide thrills and chills for fans of all ages.

Congaree Continues to Fight, From Birth to the Wood

Go ahead, tell Congaree he doesn't have the experience or seasoning to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He'll laugh in your face, just as he did to those who questioned his ability to defeat the mighty Monarchos in the April 17 Wood Memorial (gr. II) off only three career starts. We're talking about a colt who literally was born a fighter, and who has been defying the odds ever since. When you have to fight to get born, there isn't a challenge life has to offer that you back away from. To Congaree, the $750,000 Wood was just another race at just another track against just another horse. And the result was just another of his resounding victories.

Soft Turf Suits Northern Quest in Golden Gate 'Cap

Three Plus U Stable's Northern Quest, taking advantage of a soft turf course he seems to prefer, split horses at the top of the stretch en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $242,500 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields. Under Victor Espinoza, the 6-year-old French-bred completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:58.58.

Spain Eclipses Chilukki in La Brea

Spain made a case for herself for 3-year-old filly Eclipse Award honors with an upset win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) only to be trumped three weeks later when Surfside convincingly defeated males in the Clark Handicap (gr. II). Spain put in some last-minute campaigning Saturday, defeating reigning 2-year-old champion Chilukki in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita.

Pioneer Upsets General in Gold Cup

David and Holly Wilson's Early Pioneer posted the biggest win of his career when the 5-year-old gelding overtook 7-5 favorite General Challenge in the stretch to win the $1-million Sempra Energy Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

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