After coming close twice, jockey Victor Espinoza earned the famous Triple Crown earlier this year, winning the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes aboard speedy American Pharoah. It was the first time in 37 years the feat had been accomplished, and the first time ever to be accomplished by a Hispanic jockey.
Raised in Mexico, Victor Espinoza is one of 12 children. Before becoming a jockey, he drove a city bus in Mexico, and says, "It's a lot easier riding horses than driving in that traffic in Mexico City." After attending jockey school in Mexico City, Victor came to the United States in 1993, riding in Southern California, Kentucky and Northern California.
Espinoza has won over 3000 races, and his horses have won more than $125 million during his career. He won the Kentucky Derby three times, including the last two in a row, and he was the first jockey to have three chances at winning the Triple Crown.
Victor has a special connection to Duarte’s City of Hope cancer hospital and research center and their young patients. In addition to donating 10% of his weekly winnings to City of Hope, he donated his Triple Crown winnings to the cause.
Victor is partnered with Pro Karina Smirnoff.
DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 21 CAST: Tamar Braxton | Gary Busey | Nick Carter | Paula Deen | Victor Espinoza | Andy Grammer | Hayes Grier | Bindi Irwin | Chaka Khan | Alexa PenaVega | Carlos PenaVega | Alek Skarlatos | Kim Zolciak Biermann