07/31/2010 7:25PM

La Nez goes from last to first in Fleet Treat


DEL MAR, Calif. - A wide trip aboard La Nez in Saturday's $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes left jockey Victor Espinoza with soaring confidence as the race unfolded.

La Nez was four-wide entering the stretch and rallied from last in a field of nine to win the seven-furlong race for statebred 3-year-old fillies by a half-length over 9-2 shot Thisoneforyou. Tornado Betty, the longest shot in the field at 30-1, finished third. Excellent News, the 2-1 favorite, could only finish sixth after a poor start.

Espinoza never considered saving ground, preferring to stay outside of most of the field through a modest pace of 23.47 and 46.64 seconds.

"The way the race set up I wanted to stay outside of them," Espinoza said. "That was the only chance I had was to stay wide. It was too crowded to go inside."

La Nez ($14.40) was timed in 1:23.45.

The Fleet Treat Stakes was La Nez's first start since a last-place finish in a field of seven in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park in May. Trainer Eric Kruljac said that La Nez was found to be suffering from an intestinal illness, which required a break in late spring.

The Fleet Treat was La Nez's second stakes win, and first since the California Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita last October, which was also over seven furlongs. Owned by a partnership, La Nez, who is by Storm Creek, has won 3 of 11 starts and $261,000.