Triple Crown winner Espinoza to ride Whitmore in Derby

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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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