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Espinoza’s Lead Could Grow

The hottest jockey of the Hollywood Park meet will have six chances to pad his lead in the standings today.

Victor Espinoza, who has won 15 races, six more than Alex Solis, will ride Cleartalker in the first, Shining Nuggets in the second, Skywalker Red in the third, Motto in the fifth, Ivory Tower in the seventh and Patriot Dream in the eighth.

Cleartalker and Patriot Dream are 2-year-old sons of Swiss Yodeler trained by Mike Harrington. Cleartalker is adding blinkers while trying to improve upon a sixth-place finish on April 23, the first day of the Hollywood Park season. Patriot Dream is making his debut in a $40,000 claimer. He worked in 35 4/5 from the gate over the track last month.

A victory by Ivory Tower would be a big surprise, but Skywalker Red, Motto and Shining Nuggets are all solid contenders.

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Race of the day: Polygreen, a quality filly from France who made a successful U.S. debut at Santa Anita on April 4, will stretch out to a mile in search of a repeat in today’s seventh at Hollywood Park.

One for the road: Willard Straight won in his second career start on the Gulfstream Park turf course on April 13 and looks like a repeater in his New York bow for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Lion Cavern colt could be a single in the first pick four of the Belmont Park meet in the day’s seventh, a $46,000 allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Exotically speaking: A pick three singling Daring Bert in the fourth, using Sweet Stepper, Motto and Shelter Cove in the fifth and Chance’s Domain, Jade Fox and Shezospiritual in the sixth.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/24. Money: Previous day/meet total: $12.20/$131.60. Total money bet: $174.

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