09/04/2006 11:00PM

Espinoza rides Point Ashley to record win


Point Ashley carried jockey Victor Espinoza to a record-setting seventh win on Monday's card at Del Mar when she won the Grade 1, $250,000 in a runaway.

Point Ashley ($5.20), the favorite of eight 2-year-old fillies, roared home 2 1/2 lengths best over Untouched Talent, who got up to nose out She's Included and Outofthepast in a three-way battle for second. Point Ashley completed seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:23.34.

Espinoza had won the first six races Monday, finished third in the seventh race, then won the Debutante, the day's eighth race. He lost with his final two mounts. Espinoza became the first rider to win seven races in one day at Del Mar, surpassing the record of six held by Laffit Pincay Jr., Rudy Rosales, and Bill Shoemaker.

"It's a great feeling," said Espinoza, who received a rousing cheer from the crowd when he returned to the winner's circle. "Sometimes as a kid, I would dream about winning the Kentucky Derby, and six or seven races in one day, and finally today was the day."

Espinoza also had won the final race on Sunday, so he won seven straight races through the sixth on Monday. That equaled a record held by Shoemaker, who won seven straight at Del Mar on Labor Day weekend of 1954.

Point Ashley gave trainer Bob Baffert his sixth win in the Debutante.

Point Ashley, a daughter of Point Given, was purchased in April for $725,000 by owner Ahmed Zayat at the Keeneland 2-year-old-in-training sale. She finished third in her debut on July 3 at Hollywood Park, then defeated maidens here on July 23.

She wore blinkers in her first two races, but Baffert removed them for this race, and Point Ashley responded by rating kindly off hot early fractions (21.25 seconds, 44.17 seconds) set by Mistical Plan, who stopped and finished last.

"I had a really, really good trip," Espinoza said. "She is quick out of the gate, but I didn't want to go in front with the crazy speed. I wanted to teach her."