Winning jockey Victor Espinoza says luck is key to his second chance at triple crown

05/03/2014 10:45 PM

While one of California Chrome’s owners virtually guaranteed a Triple Crown victory, jockey Victor Espinoza has been in this spot before and said all he needs is a little luck this time.

“Now I have a lot of pressure,” he said laughing. “I was very close last time. I was just one step away.”

Once the Derby is over, public speculation immediately turns to the winner’s chances to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and, thus, break the now 36-year drought for triple crown winners.

Espinoza has managed the hype before. As a 30-year-old in 2002, Espinoza guided War Emblem to impressive wins in the Derby and Preakness before Sarava, a 70-1 longshot, won the Belmont in one of the biggest upsets in recent racing.

“I think it’s time someone wins a Triple Crown,” he told the St. Petersburg Times before the 2002 Belmont Stakes. “I don’t know when, or who, but I hope it’s me.”

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