Victor Espinoza Throws Out First Pitch At Dodger Stadium Right Before Triple Crown Race

Victor Espinoza
American Pharoah #1 ridden by Victor Espinoza acknowledges the crowd after winning the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The hottest jockey in horse racing was hanging out at Dodger Stadium last week as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Victor Espinoza, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium.

Espinoza is the talk of the town after the Mexican jockey won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for the second consecutive year. Espinoza was aboard California Chrome in 2014 as he won the Derby and the Preakness becoming just the twelfth horse all-time to have a shot at the illustrious Triple Crown.

This year, Espinoza has won both races on board American Pharoah, the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes on June 6th, 2015. The soon-to-be 43-year-old native of Mexico is no stranger to success in the thoroughbred world. He first won the Kentucky Derby in 2002 aboard War Emblem and is widely considered to be one of the best jockeys in the sport.

Last week, Espinoza did a promotional tour of Los Angeles, where he visited the set of ESPN's Sports Center, and threw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium. He also took in a couple live races at Santa Anita before heading back to the east cost to reunite with American Pharoah.

Espinoza and American Pharoah seek to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The third and final leg of the Crown is held in New York, and is the oldest of all three Triple Crown events. It's nicknamed the "Test of the Champion," as it is the longest distance of the three races at a mile and a half. Because the event is held just five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness, it has been nearly impossible for a three-year old thoroughbred to win the event as fresh horses who did not enter into the first two races often are primed for upsets. The Belmont Stakes will be Espinoza's third time racing with a Triple Crown hopeful.

Watch a video of ESPN's "A Day in the Life of Victor Espinoza" as well as footage of him throwing out the ceremonial first pitch below.

 

 

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Michael Duarte

Michael J. Duarte is a Los Angeles based writer. Born and raised in the City of Angels, Michael did his undergraduate work at the University of California Santa Barbara and a graduate program at the University of Southern California. Michael was awarded the Paul Lazarus Screenwriting Scholarship Award in 2004 and the Corwin Writing Award for his feature screenplay, "Chasing 4:00" in 2005. In addition to Sports writing, Michael is an avid marathon runner and fan of the Magic Bullet blender.