05/28/2013 2:20PM

Hollywood Park notes: Ezpinoza near 3,000th victory


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - As early as Thursday, Victor Espinoza could become the most recent jockey to win the 3,000th race of his career.

Monday, Espinoza won his 2,999th race on the 9-1 Doyouseemecoming in the eighth race, his final mount of the day. Thursday, Espinoza rides Rosies Ready in the sixth race and Fighting Hussar in the seventh.

“I hope it comes next week,” Espinoza said on Monday. “It’s fun. I’m surprised that I had ridden that many winners, especially here in Southern California. When I started riding here it was the toughest place in the United States, and it made me a better rider.”

Espinoza, 41, is best known for winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes on War Emblem in 2002. The winner of 11 riding titles in Southern California, Espinoza said he greatly enjoys the competition.

“The main thing is health,” he said. “I’m 100 percent. It’s fun to come here and win races.”

Testosterone hearing due

Hollywood Park stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward are scheduled to hear closing arguments on Thursday in a case regarding two positive tests for excessive testosterone found in runners trained by Carla Gaines at Hollywood Park last summer.

Last week, the stewards heard 15 hours of testimony over four days regarding the testosterone overages found in A Little Luckier after a second-place finish in a maiden race on July 14, 2012, and Winding Way following a win in an optional claimer on July 21, 2012. Winding Way later won the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar.

Gaines was notified of the positive tests last summer. The initial drug tests were conducted at the University of California at Davis and confirmed at the University of Florida. Attorney Darrell Vienna, who also trains in Southern California, argued the case on behalf of Gaines.

When the hearing is completed, the stewards must decide whether to sanction Gaines, through a possible fine or suspension, and whether to redistribute the purses in the affected races.