Victor Espinoza has won the Kentucky Derby in two of the the last three years, riding California Chrome and American Pharoah to victory in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He hopes to make it three out of four on the back on Gormley this Sunday.
Espinoza rode Gormley to victory at the Santa Anita Derby on April 8 and believes the colt has as good of a chance as any to win the Kentucky Derby.
“I don’t see any horse that really is outstanding good,” Espinoza said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think we’re all in the same boat. Pretty much it’s even. The favorite, I don’t think he really impressed me. None of those horses really impress me. I think Gormley, he is really good and where he’s at right now, I’m not afraid of any other horse in the race.”
Classic Empire and Always Dreaming are the top favorites at Churchill Downs.
Espinoza became a household name in 2015, as American Pharoah became the first Triple-Crown winner since 1978. Gormley might not match American Pharoah in talent, but Espinoza believes he can win the Derby.
“Gormley, he’s different than the other horses that I rode before,” Espinoza said. “He likes to give me a hard time sometimes. But it is fun to be around him and he basically has the experience to run against a lot of horses. There was a couple races where he didn’t perform as good as I wanted him to do it, but I think it was a good experience for him. A lot of horses, they’re almost in a worse situation than Gormley because they run for short (distances), and Gormley, he has experience. He’s a really talented horse. I am excited for the Derby.”