Victor Espinoza : Horse Racing Jockey
Victor Espinoza was born on 23 May 1972 in Mexico City. Victor was raised on their family-owned farm in Mexico, by his parents. At the age of 16 Victor Espinoza had witnessed his first horse race and it was at this race meeting that the dream of becoming a jockey had begun. Unfortunately, the young Espinoza had a few things counting against him in the world of horse racing. Firstly, he did not know anyone who worked at the track and secondly, he did not know how to ride a horse. In actual fact, he was scared of horses. His brother owned his own horse and with time, patience and determination, Victor soon graduated from walking the horse to galloping around the farm grounds.
Victor approached the racetrack where he began to work with quarter horses, learnt how to ride the track and break out of the racing gates. It was not long before he was taking the thoroughbreds out for their morning workouts. Espinoza went on to graduate from jockey school, after training for a year, to become licensed to race. He started working for a trainer to learn about the entire industry, and won his first race in 1992.
In 1993, Victor Espinoza decided to relocate to the United States, and started galloping horses at Santa Anita Park. Breaking into the horse industry was not an easy time for Victor, as he did not know anyone, and he struggled to speak English. But to gallop horses gave him the opportunity to meet people and to improve his language capabilities. He moved to Bay Meadows where got a regular horse to take on training runs, and was offered a position back in Santa Anita Park, which he took.
After years of struggle and patiently waiting for this chance to prove himself, he finally got the chance to make his major break into the horse racing world in the year 2000. Within this year, Victor Espinoza managed to win three titles, including the Breeders Cup and the Hollywood Gold Cup, and win 31 stakes races. From this year onward, his successes soared. In 2002 he won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and walked away with the ESPY Jockey of the Year Award. By 2004 Victor Espinoza featured on the money-earned list in third place. Victor is noted as one of the top jockeys on the circuit today.