Victor Espinoza Collects 3,000th Victory
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 5/31/2013 6:44:17 PM
Last Updated: 6/2/2013 9:39:25 PM
Jockey Victor Espinoza celebrates win number 3,000.
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.
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