Although he won the Triple Crown, he’s not any better a jockey today than he was a year ago. He has been a Hall of Fame-caliber jockey for a long time. Sometimes it takes a single moment that catches up with all the hard work, effort and commitment to make the statement of who you are and how great you have always been at your craft.
A lot of us are undervalued and understated, but there is always a time for us to get what we want, we just don’t have any control over the timing.
Victor Espinoza is the example of being persistent: riding different horses, not making a bunch of money and having a lot of ups and downs.
Another thing I learned…jockeys are really tiny. When I was with him last night and he decided to have a Shake Shack burger his eyes lit up, and I said, “Have the custard, too!” People don’t realize the amount of work and discipline it takes to succeed being a jockey. Diet and nutrition are huge. The guy has been starving probably for so long just to stay in top shape.
The thing I liked about him most is that through all of us this he was so incredibly humble. He has always had a high level of gratefulness and humility, but the fact that it has not wavered whatsoever in these last six weeks is the impressive part. Sometimes when great things happen we all let our egos get in the way and we forget about what got us there. With Victor, that did not happen. I never thought I would meet someone so similar in their mentality to a Jeter or Rivera, whom I have gotten to know so well. Victor Espinoza is right there.
Congratulations, Victor, on making history!