Can you imagine riding on a 44mph cloud? This Goku-style fantasy became reality for a very lucky Mexican: the “luckiest Mexican on earth.”
Last Saturday, jockey Victor Espinoza rose to glory by winning the Triple Crown title of Thoroughbred horse racing. It was the first Triple Crown victory – which entails winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont the same year with the same horse – since 1978. The Mexican rider is also the first jockey to do win the Triple Crown since 1995, which was the first and only time a jockey won using different horses.
According to Espinoza, riding American Pharoah was like riding a cloud. But in a sport where the credit is mostly given to the horse, Espinoza has been making quite a lot of noise –and gaining fans – lately. And how could he not? He’s an easy man to root for, from his underdog story to the reports that he will be donating all of his $800,000 prize money to a cancer research center in California.
“I cannot believe I did it. I (won) the Triple Crown race now, but I didn’t make any money, because I donated my money to the City of Hope,” he told the Courier-Journal.
According to Newsday, Espinoza has been donating part of his earnings (around 10%) to the City of Hope, a network of cancer treatment centers, for years. But this last donation just shows what a great human being Espinoza is and why it’s so easy to be a fan.
“The kids 6 years old, 10 years old, it’s just heartbreaking. They have no idea what they’re missing in life. But believe it or not, they’re the happiest people. When I went to visit them twice, it was amazing to see them, how happy they were,” he told Newsday.
Espinoza’s good heart can only make us happy that he won.