12/27/2001 12:00AM

Valdez returns for an encore

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Felipe Valdez, who rode a record-tying seven winners on Sunday, will try to continue his hot-riding when racing resumes at Portland Meadows on Saturday.

Valdez, a 24-year-old native of Mexico City who is riding at Portland Meadows for the first time this season, took over the top spot in the jockey standings with his victory barrage on Sunday. His seven wins tied the mark set by Joe Crispin last year, when he broke the record of six wins held by several riders, including two household names in Gary Stevens and Gary Baze.

Valdez has eight mounts on Sunday's 10-race card, including one on Bay Be Rocker in the featured eighth race, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race for 2-year-old fillies who have not won two races. Bay Be Rocker, a Cisco Road filly trained by Jim Fergason, will be among the longshots in the six-horse field, but she is coming off a sharp win against $6,250 maidens at Saturday's distance, and she appears to be improving.

The one to beat in the feature is Shoppers Shuttle, who scored authoritative eight-length victory in maiden special weight company on Nov. 17, running five furlongs in a sharp 1:01.22. Shawna Barber will ride for trainer Cliff Balcom.

Also coming off wins are Savanna's Folley, who beat $6,250 maidens by more than seven lengths Dec. 2, and Tualatin Honey, who was a three-length winner against $6,250 maidens on Dec. 16. Savanna's Folley will be ridden by Dan Bryson. Second-leading rider Juan Gutierrez will be aboard Tualatin Honey.

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