Victor Espinoza Won the Triple Crown, He Learned to Nae Nae, and Now He’s Ready to Retire

Lead Photo: Photo by Bryce Duffy
Photo by Bryce Duffy
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The Luckiest Mexican on Earth, also known as jockey Victor Espinoza, has been enjoying the fruits of the Triple Crown victory he obtained last June. It’s not surprising, given the fact that the last time there was a Triple Crown Champion (an accomplishment that includes winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes) was in 1978. With this, he also became the first-ever Latino to do so. Success, however, comes with a price. Just a couple of weeks ago, Espinoza had an airhead moment when he thanked the city of Paris for hosting the Longines World’s Best Racehorse event while accepting his award. The problem? He was in London. But who can blame him? The guy leads a crazy life.

“I don’t know where I am sometimes,” Espinoza told The National. “I travel so much that it doesn’t bother me anymore. I sleep on planes. I catch sleep in cars. It’s not easy, but you get used to it,” he added.

The 43-year-old, who donated all of his Triple Crown earnings to City of Hope (a California-based cancer research center for children), will be riding again. But this time he’ll be mounted on California Chrome, who will have a go at the Dubai World Cup at the end of March. After that, there are hints that perhaps the oldest jockey to have ever won a Triple Crown will take a break. “I think it will go on for one more year and then I can probably take a little break. I need it. Maybe a few months off to relax. Retirement will be a day-by-day thing. I have no plans but one day I will just wake up and say, ‘That’s it. I’m done,’” he said.

American Pharaoh has won the Triple Crown with jockey Victor Espinoza! Congratulations Victor!! A photo posted by Bryce Duffy (@bryceduffy) on

Whatever he decides, one thing is clear: Victor Espinoza has not only made history, but piqued many Latinos’ interest in horse riding, a sport that – contrary to popular belief – is actually dominated by Latinos.