05/12/2006 11:00PM

First day down south, Garcia grabs two wins


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jockey Martin Garcia and agent Roger Olguin were reviewing the 21-year-old apprentice's mounts for the weekend when Olguin mentioned that Garcia's best chance for a winner might come on Sunday.

To Garcia, that seemed too long. "Why not today?" he asked Olguin on Friday.

That evening, in his first day of riding in Southern California, Garcia took hold of matters. Garcia won two races from four mounts - Lemaire ($9.80) in the fourth race and Pay Houston ($17.80) in the eighth.

The quick start put to rest any nerves that Garcia had about moving from northern California, where he was leading rider at the Golden Gate Fields meeting earlier this spring.

"I feel comfortable," he said on the backstretch Saturday morning.

"I want to be one of the big guys here, like Victor Espinoza, Tyler Baze, Patrick Valenzuela, and Corey Nakatani."

Garcia has been warmly received by owners and trainers. He had six mounts on Sunday and five mounts on Monday.

Garcia said the biggest difference between riding at Golden Gate Fields and Hollywood Park is the competition among the jockeys.

"They're better finishers," he said. "I think you have to be stronger to finish. Here, everybody is tough."

Holly Torque Tango wins before sale

Holly Torque Tango, a flashy winner of a 2-year-old maiden race in her debut on Thursday, sells on Tuesday at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training in Pomona.

It is safe to say the filly's value has increased in recent days.

In Thursday's race at 4 1/2 furlongs, Holly Torque Tango dueled with Little City for the first quarter-mile and took the lead entering the stretch. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Holly Torque Tango drew off to win by 5 1/2 lengths, finishing in 51.47 seconds.

"I was impressed," trainer Brian Koriner said. "She came back well. Hopefully, she's a good horse. I don't know how far she'll run."

Holly Torque Tango is Hip No. 242 in the one-day sale. Thursday, she was listed as owned by Wind River Stables, Julie Berta, and Janet Lyons. She is consigned by B.C.3 Thoroughbreds.

The filly is by Exciting Story, a champion in Canada whose oldest foals are 2-year-olds this year.

In a way, Koriner is hoping to keep the filly. He has an eye on the Barretts Debutante Stakes in September, a race restricted to horses that have passed through the ring at Barretts.

"We want to make her eligible for the sales stakes," Koriner said.

Sandra's Rose grabs first stakes

Sandra's Rose won her first stakes in the restricted Tuzla Stakes on Friday night, but had to survive a 10-minute inquiry to keep the victory.

Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Sandra's Rose ran 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:01.33, finishing a head in front of Danclare. The inquiry focused on whether those two squeezed out Polyfirst, the fourth-place finisher, who was in tight quarters in the final strides.

The stewards did not change the order of finish.

Sandra's Rose ($6.40) has won 4 of 10 starts and $158,048 for Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable and trainer Mike Machowsky. She was third in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap at Santa Anita last month.

- A. P. Warrior, who finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby, has resumed racetrack training and is being pointed for the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 17, trainer John Shirreffs said. His main goal for the summer is the $300,000 Swaps BC Stakes on July 8.