Victor Espinoza

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Steady Balance Overcomes Obstacles in 'Margarita

Balance, the nation's leading 3-year-old filly last year before going off kilter, continued her ascent toward the top of the older female division on Saturday while overcoming obstacles to win Santa Anita's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles.

$8M Colt Mr. Sekiguchi Collects Second Win

Mr. Sekiguchi, a son of Storm Cat purchased as a yearling for $8 million in 2004 by Fusao Sekiguchi, won Santa Anita's $52,100 allowance feature Friday by a head over 52-1 longshot Absolute Glory.

Cushion Track Praised as Hollywood Opens

California horsemen, who have been nearly unanimous in their praise of the new Hollywood surface in recent weeks of training, continued to give Cushion Track a thumbs up after the first day of racing at the fall meeting.

Baffert's Midnight Lute Dominates Perryville S.

Midnight Lute, a recent arrival from California trained by Bob Baffert, drew off by 4 3/4 lengths in winning the $200,000 Perryville Stakes (presented by Budweiser Select) (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Keeneland Friday.

Baffert Sets Stakes Mark; Behaving Badly Rolls

Behaving Badly, the 3-5 favorite under jockey Victor Espinoza, provided trainer Bob Baffert with a record 75th stakes success at Del Mar Friday evening as she breezed to victory in the featured $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) for older fillies and mares.

Healthy Addiction Happiest in Clement Hirsch

Pamela Ziebarth's Healthy Addiction put away the challenge of even-money favorite Happy Ticket mid-stretch and went on to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Del Mar Sunday.

Attima Atones With San Clemente Triumph

Reunited with jockey Victor Espinoza, Attima rebounded from her last-place finish in the American Oaks (gr. IT) by dominating the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday on the Del Mar turf course.

Spot the Diplomat Wins Del Mar's Graduation

Harris Farms' Spot the Diplomat, the 8-5 favorite under Del Mar's defending riding champion Victor Espinoza, held on resolutely through the stretch to win Wednesday's $133,400 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds.

Four Years Later, Tin Man Repeats in American

Ageless The Tin Man earned a repeat victory in the $250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday on the Hollywood Park turf, which isn't all that remarkable until you consider that his first win in the 1 1/8-mile event came in 2002.

'Mood Squares Accounts in CashCall Mile

The Japanese star Dance in the Mood, whose connections were disappointed when she ran second in the 2004 American Oaks (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf, provided redemption Saturday when she romped to victory in the $750,000 CashCall Invitational Mile (gr. IIIT).

Point Determined Gets Grade in Affirmed 'Cap

In a desperate battle to the wire with A.P. Warrior, jockey Victor Espinoza urged everything he could from favored Point Determined, who responded on the outside to win by a nose in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.

Attima Turns Away Foxysox in Honeymoon

Odds-on choice Attima, given a confident armchair ride on the lead by Victor Espinoza, cruised to a 1 1/4-length win over Foxysox in the $137,150 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday.

Shining Energy Overpowering in Gamely BC

Shining Energy isn't just a mile specialist anymore. The Julio Canani-trained 4-year-old filly trailed the field in Monday's $349,500 Gamely Breeders' Cup (gr. IT) into the far turn, then unleashed a tremendous bid in the stretch to win going away in a mild surprise on the Hollywood Park turf.

Wanna Runner Runaway Winner at Lone Star

Mike Pegram's odds-on favorite Wanna Runner ran his five rivals in the $300,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby (gr. III) into the ground on the far turn and cakewalked through the stretch under Victor Espinoza for an easy win Saturday in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Balance On the Beam in Santa Anita Oaks

Amerman Racing's Balance overpowered her eight rivals in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) to make it back-to-back grade I victories for trainer David Hofmans and established herself as Southern California's leading contender for the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Baffert, Behaving Badly Win Again at 'Anita

Trainer Bob Baffert moved a step closer to his Santa Anita record for stakes victories Saturday when overwhelming favorite Behaving Badly cruised home in the $107,000 Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) over five overmatched fillies and mares.

Silver Cup Measures Up in Buena Vista 'Cap

Overlooked Silver Cup got a good a stalking trip before kicking home impressively in the final sixteenth of a mile to defeat an evenly matched field in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Santa Anita turf course Monday.

Balance Tips Grade I Heights in Las Virgenes

Beaten by just a half-length in her first try for a grade I victory in December, Amerman Racing's Balance got the job done in fine fashion Saturday, winning the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.

Mark Guidry Voted 2006 Woolf Award Winner

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Mark Guidry, a Louisiana native who began riding in 1974 and has won more that 4,700 races, was selected the winner of the 2006 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his fellow jockeys.

Behaving Badly Much the Best in Santa Monica

Heavy betting favorite Behaving Badly popped the gate in front for jockey Victor Espinoza and was never seriously threatened, becoming a grade I winner with little trouble in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park Sunday.

Da Stoops Drops Da Hammer in Millions Dash

Favored Da Stoops left the field far behind on the turn and swept to the easiest of victories in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash for 3-year-olds, the first of four stakes races at Santa Anita Park for California and Florida-bred horses Saturday.

Sierra Sweetie Wins Cal Breeders' Champion

Sierra Sweetie, under Victor Espinoza pressed the pace to the quarter pole and went on to an impressive three-length win in Wednesday's $125,000 added California Breeders' Champion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.

Balance In Sync Bagging Sharp Cat

Balance, a disqualification away from being undefeated, successfully made the transition from turf to dirt while rolling to a 1 3/4-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in Sunday's $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.

Eastern Sand Lands Silky Sullivan in Last Jump

Eastern Sand, the 1-2 favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Silky Sullivan Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds, needed every step of the 1 1/8-mile distance, getting to the wire first in his final lunge to defeat Mr. Splash by a head at Golden Gate Fields.

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