Espinoza's story is a great one: The 11th of 12 siblings on a Hidalgo, Mexico dairy farm he took a job as a busdriver in Mexico City to pay for jockey school. Now he is on top of the horse-racing world, it is his third Derby win and second in as many years after riding California Chrome to a win last year. He is a great guy, too he donates 10 percent of his winnings to City of Hope, a pediatric cancer research foundation.
American Pharoah won the 2015 Kentucky Derby, held May 2. Firing Line finished in second, with Dortmund third. Dortmund set the pace early, hitting the 1/4 mile mark at 23.24 seconds, 1/2 mile at 47.34, and 3/4 at 1:11.29. American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund battled down the stretch, with American Pharoah pulling ahead just before the finish. American Pharoah paid $7.80 on a $2 bet to win.
Heading up to the race, American Pharoah and Dortmund were all the talk. Both trained by Bob Baffert, the two were betting favorites from the initial morning line right up through the moment they entered the gate. American Pharoah had won four of the five races he entered, including three Grade 1 stakes and most recently the Arkansas Derby.
Minds now turn to the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, which will be run May 16 at Pimlico in Baltimore. Last year, California Chrome won the first two races and entered the Belmont with a chance to earn the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, but he finished fourth and failed to capture the crown.
The Derby set an attendance record with 170,517 on hand to watch. The winning jockey Victor Espinoza, also won the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the final race of the Kentucky Derby undercard, in an exciting finish.