Updated on 09/17/2011 2:04PM

Espinoza sweeps Santa Anita holiday stakes

Star Parade ($4.40) with Victor Espinoza riding wins the Santa Maria Handicap on Monday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Victor Espinoza, who leads the nation's jockeys in earnings this year, swept the two stakes at Santa Anita on Monday displaying opposite riding styles.

Espinoza rode Star Parade to a front-running win in the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on dirt. In the following race, the $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap, Espinoza guided Puerto Banus through traffic to edge Continuously.

Espinoza's mounts have earned $2,528,258 through Monday. He has won seven stakes at the current Santa Anita meeting.

"That was great," Espinoza said. "I've been really lucky this year."

Star Parade scored her second consecutive major stakes win in the Grade 1 Santa Maria, having won the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in December.

The 6-5 favorite in the Santa Maria, Star Parade was hustled to the front, set quick fractions of 22.59 and 46 seconds, and fought off Bare Necessities in deep stretch to win by a head.

Carrying 114 pounds, Star Parade ($4.40) finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.87.

"I had to rush out of the gate to get to the lead," Espinoza said. "That's the way she runs, and we can't change her style."

Bare Necessities finished two lengths in front of La Tour, who was followed by Adoration (the 120-pound topweight), Preeminence, and Angel Gift. Adoration has lost twice since winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff in an upset last October.

La Tour stumbled a few strides after the finish, unseating jockey Alex Solis. He returned to ride Fairly Ransom to a sixth-place finish in the San Luis Obispo.

The Santa Maria was Star Parade's first start for owner Gary Tanaka, who acquired her from Doug McClure in early January.

The win impressed trainer Darrell Vienna.

"I was concerned they would come to her and she would get tested for class," Vienna said. "You saw more of her character. They all had a chance to run at her."

An Argentine-bred, Star Parade, 5, has won 5 of 13 starts and $326,112.

San Luis Obispo: Puerto Banus scores

Puerto Banus won his first stakes in seven months in the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo, run over 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Espinoza had Puerto Banus in eighth until early stretch. With a wide run, Puerto Banus squeezed through a tight spot to prevail by a neck over Continuously.

"That's the way this horse likes to run, just sit back and make one strong run," Espinoza said.

Puerto Banus was sixth at the eighth pole, trailing the pacesetter, Meteor Storm, by 2 1/4 lengths. Puerto Banus did not lead until the final strides.

"He went through a hole that wasn't that big, and he's a big horse," trainer Kristin Mulhall said.

Owned by Steve Taub, Noctis Stable, and Neil Papiano, Puerto Banus ($9.80) was timed in 2:28.

Five horses were within a length at the finish. Continuously, the 3-1 favorite, finished a head in front of Continental Red, who was a nose in front of Meteor Storm. Labirinto rallied wide to finish fifth, beaten three-quarters of a length.

Puerto Banus won his first stakes in the Grade 2 Sunset Handicap last summer at Hollywood Park and was turned out following a sixth-place finish in the Sword Dancer Handicap at Saratoga last August. A winner of 5 of 16 starts and $370,410, Puerto Banus was fourth in his comeback, the San Marcos Stakes on Jan. 19.

Las Virgenes: A.P. Adventure rallies

A.P. Adventure remained unbeaten in three starts after weaving her way between rivals in the stretch of Sunday's $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes.

The victory in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes for 3-year-old fillies left A.P. Adventure's connections - owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, trainer Wally Dollase, and jockey Alex Solis - wondering what she will accomplish in the future. "She's so laid-back," Solis said. "She has so much to learn, and that's the scary thing about it. She's just having fun."

A.P. Adventure ($4.20) ran the mile in 1:36.50, finishing a half-length in front of Hollywood Story. On the final turn, it appeared A.P. Adventure might not hit the board. She received two sharp reminders from Solis before the quarter-pole while racing four lengths behind pacesetter Friendly Michelle and was slow to respond.

Entering the stretch, A.P. Adventure was passed by Hollywood Story. Solis angled A.P. Adventure to the inside, between Friendly Michelle and Rahy Dolly, and quickly got a response. "She ran in spurts," Dollase said. "She's got talent, but she has to put it to better use."