Victor Espinoza will have a chance for an unprecedented three-peat in the Kentucky Derby, after all.
Espinoza’s agent, Brian Beach, said Wednesday that the jockey who won the Derby with California Chrome in 2014 and with eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015 has landed aboard long shot Whitmore. The Derby is May 7.
With regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. committed to Derby contender My Man Sam, Whitmore trainer Ron Moquett opted for Espinoza. He’s a three-time Derby winner who guided American Pharoah to the first Triple Crown in 37 years by winning the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Espinoza also won the Derby aboard War Emblem in 2002.
Whitmore finished third in the Arkansas Derby and second in the Rebel Stakes in his last two starts.
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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Prize Exhibit rallied from fifth with three furlongs remaining and won the $100,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares by 1 1/4 lengths Monday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Prize Exhibit ran a mile on turf in 1:35.56 and paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3.40.
Ireland-bred Jeremy’s Legacy returned $9 and $4.60. The Mystic was another head back in third and paid $3.40 to show as the 3-1 second choice.
The Grade 3 victory, worth $60,000, increased Prize Exhibit’s career earnings to $637,045, with seven wins in 31 starts. She had been winless in 10 starts since capturing the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes at the track a year ago.
“She can be tricky,” trainer Jim Cassidy said. “We’ve had to do a lot of different things with her and she’s just been happier lately.”
NEW YORK — Green Gratto held on to win the $125,000 Toboggan Stakes by a head on Monday at Aqueduct.
The 7-year-old set the pace under persistent pressure from Story to Tell. Green Gratto finally put away that rival in deep stretch, and had enough in reserve to fend off a final challenge from All Star Red.
The victory capped a big weekend at Aqueduct for jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who got three stakes wins in a four-day span.
The New Jersey-bred Green Gratto, owned and trained by Gaston Grant, earned his eighth win in 51 starts. The time was 1:10.74 for the six furlongs.
Green Gratto paid $7.30, $4.50 and $2.40 as the 5-2 second choice.
All Star Red returned $11 and $3.40, and Stallwalkin’ Dude, the 4-5 favorite, paid $2.10 to show.