Espinoza now Ranked Second in Triple Crown Race Victories Among Active Riders
Jockey Victor Espinoza moved into second place in Triple Crown victories among active riders with Saturday’s Belmont Stakes win aboard American Pharoah. It was Espinoza’s seventh victory in a Triple Crown event, and he trails only Hall of Famer Gary Stevens who has nine. With three historic wins aboard American Pharoah, Espinoza surpassed Kent Desormeaux who has six. Calvin Borel and John Velazquez each have four.
A 43 year old native of Mexico City, Espinoza has an outstanding Triple Crown record of seven wins, two seconds and one third in 19 mounts for a win percentage of 36%. The best Triple Crown win percentage for active jockeys goes to Mario Gutierrez, who is a perfect two for two. Gutierrez guided I’ll Have Another to victories in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Participants in the Triple Crown were very generous after the Belmont. Trainer Bob Baffert pledged $50,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund. Also, Espinoza was a significant contributor to the Kentucky Derby Day silent auction held at tracks across America which raised more than $30,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.
Richard Eramia tied for the most wins in North America with 11 and continues to sit atop the standings at Louisiana Downs. Davila finished the week with a 45% win percentage and landed in the money in over 70%% of his mounts.
Cliff Berry had an impressive week at Lone Star Park by winning 50% of his mounts and coming in the money 75% of the time. For the week Berry went 6-2-1 from 12 mounts.
Jose Garcia had a great week at Presque Isle by scoring at 40% and coming in the money on 70% of his mounts. For the week Garcia finished with four wins, two seconds, and one third from ten mounts.
AQHA Quarter Horse Standings
Raul Ramirez Jr. (Delta Downs) remains on top of the wins leaderboard for the year with 79 from 341 mounts. John Hamilton (Delta Downs) ranks second with 73 wins from 369 starts and David Alvarez ranks third with 72 wins from 331 mounts.
GR Carter Jr. (Remington Park) with earnings of $1,333,263 from 357 starts leades the AQHA standings. Raul Ramirez Jr. is sitting in second in the standings with $1,255,402 and Larry Payne is third with $1,216,690.
Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .
‘I’m Gonna Beat This’: Romero Confident Despite Health Issues
Despite several health setbacks lately, including the discovery of a stomach tumor while undergoing medical tests for an organ transplant, Hall of Fame jockey Randy Romero remains positive.
“I’m gonna beat this,” Romero told the Times-Picayune. “The doctors are very confident.”
Garrett Gomez Announces Retirement
After a long absence from the sport, multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez made his retirement official June 8, more than a year and a half after his most recent mount.
In a post on his Facebook page, 43-year-old Gomez finally answered the question the racing industry has been asking since he took off mounts in October 2013, never to return again.
“I’d like everyone to know I’m officially retired from the sport of horse racing,” Gomez wrote. “I thank everyone for all I achieved that had a part in my career. I had a lot of awesome moments in this game.”
Gomez, a native of Tuscon, Ariz., won 13 Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) aboard Blame while defeating Horse of the Year Zenyatta. His record-setting career included breaking Jerry Baily’s record for most stakes victories in a season (76 in 2007), and four years spent as the nation’s top jockey in earnings.
He won the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in 2007 and 2008, and was given the 2011 George Woolf Memorial Award by his peers.
Along with Blame, his significant mounts included Pioneerof the Nile, sire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, along with 2007 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches, Beholder, Colonel John, Any Given Saturday, Midnight Lute, Borrego, Discreet Cat, Indian Blessing, Wait A While, Stevie Wonderboy, Blind Luck, and Life Is Sweet.
Gomez retires with 3,769 wins from 21,639 mounts, with 3,329 seconds and 3,015 thirds. His mounts earned $205,224,899 in a career that spanned 1988-2013.
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