Jockey Victor Espinoza earned the 3,000th victory of his career when favored Flashy Delight easily won the fourth race May 31 at Betfair Hollywood Park (VIDEO).
The milestone in the $8,000 claimer for older fillies and mares came nearly 21 years after the 41-year-old native of Mexico City earned his first victory at Hipodromo De Las Americas in his hometown.
A winner of four local riding titles, Espinoza is 12th on the all-time list at Hollywood Park with 928 victories. He ranks eighth with 118 stakes wins.
Dropping in class for Rockingham Ranch and trainer Peter Miller after being claimed for $20,000 April 25, Flashy Delight took over the lead approaching the stretch while on the outside and cruised home by eight lengths in the seven-furlong race over Cushion Track.
The win was the fourth for the 4-year-old Vindication filly, all with Espinoza at the controls.
"It was kind of an exciting feeling coming down the stretch, like, 'Now I did it, 3,000 finally,''' said Espinoza. "I don't have to wait another day. You never know. Some days you come and feel you have a good chance to win and the horses don't run.
"But, the last sixteenth of a mile I thought, "Now, it's done, so I can have fun right now.'"
Espinoza had not ridden much for Miller in recent months, he noted.
"It's funny," Espinoza said. "We kind of separated for awhile. It's like a relationship. Break up for a little while and come back again."
He became the second jockey to collect his 3,000th win at the spring/summer meet. Rafael Bejarano reached the milestone May 11 aboard the Bob Baffert-trained Ondine.