06/05/2004 11:00PM

Summer Wind Dancer ends skid in Hawthorne Handicap


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After falling short by a head in two stakes in April, Summer Wind Dancer ended a 10-race losing streak with a late rally in Sunday's $108,600 at Hollywood Park.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Summer Wind Dancer caught 4-5 favorite Pesci in the final furlong to win by a length. Summer Wind Dancer ($6.40) finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.56. The win marked the first graded stakes win of her 19-race career.

Sixth early, Summer Wind Dancer moved into second at the end of the backstretch, and engaged Pesci in early stretch.

"I didn't want to be too far back," Espinoza said. "I wanted to be three or four lengths behind, not 20, especially on this racetrack."

Miss Loren, an Argentine import, finished third in the field of seven fillies and mares.

The Grade 3 Hawthorne was Summer Wind Dancer's first win since the 2002 California Cup Juvenile Fillies. Owned by Linda Vetter and Richard and Yvette Wira, Summer Wind Dancer was trained by Jenine Sahadi until late winter when she was turned over to Jeff Mullins.

A winner of 4 of 15 starts and $415,765, Summer Wind Dancer finished second in the Santa Lucia Handicap and B. Thoughtful Stakes.

She will be pointed for the $75,000 Valkyr Stakes for state-breds over 1 1/4 miles on turf on July 17.

*Souvenir Gift remained unbeaten after two starts with a victory in the $85,350 Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

The victory marked the first stakes win for trainer Sam Semkin. Souvenir Gift is co-owned by Semkin and Gregory Unruh.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Souvenir Gift finished 5 1-2 furlongs in 1:04.80. Fortunate Event finished second, with 2-1 favorite Swiss Please third in the field of six. Bella Banissa, the morning-line favorite, and Western Blondy were scratched because of illness.

Souvenir Gift was making her first start since winning a two-furlong race for maidens at Santa Anita in April.