ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2015)–Santa Anita-based Triple Crown Champion jockey Victor Espinoza will make his debut Monday night on ABC’s top-rated “Dancing with the Stars,” which launches its 21st season Monday at 8 p.m. PT.
Espinoza, who further enriched his star-studded riding resume by guiding American Pharoah to triumphs in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes this past spring, jokingly stated this past August that, “It’s a lot easier riding horses than driving (buses) in that traffic in Mexico City.”
While his terpsichorean talents remain for the most part unknown, the perennially upbeat Espinoza has been dancing regularly since this past July at Del Mar in preparation for his much-anticipated performance Monday night.
As for his dancing partner, Espinoza, who is single, is in very capable hands, as he’s been paired with the talented Karina Smirnoff, who is well familiar to DWTS viewers as a regular participant throughout much of the show’s 20-season run. Her list of achievements include winning the Mirror Ball Trophy in Season 13 with formerly wounded combat veteran and current soap opera star J.R. Martinez.
Espinoza, 43, grew up on a dairy farm near Mexico City with 11 siblings and migrated to the United States in 1990 after working as a bus driver in Mexico City. A winner of more than 3,200 races, including three Kentucky Derbies, Espinoza has been a generous supporter of City of Hope Cancer Research Hospital in nearby Duarte for the past 10 years.