HOUSTON – Mexican jockey Victor Espinoza rode American Pharoah to victory in the Kentucky Derby at the Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, winning the first jewel of the Triple Crown for the second year in a row.
The 42-year-old Espinoza kept American Pharoah, the favorite in Saturday’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, near the front of the pack from the start of the race.
American Pharoah, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, helped Espinoza become just the fourth jockey to win the derby two years in a row.
Espinoza has been on the winner three times at the Kentucky Derby, riding California Chrome to victory last year at Churchill Downs and in the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
California Chrome, however, came up short in its bid for the Triple Crown, finishing 4th in the Belmont Stakes due to an injury.
Espinoza’s first win at the Kentucky Derby came in 2002, when he rode War Emblem to victory.